By Hany Khalil
For the first time since Sept. 11, President Bush is faced with powerful domestic opposition to his invasion plan. Anti-war organizers say this provides an important opening for grassroots voices to лидокаин df daribar.kz Iraq policy.
“There is a virtual consensus in the world against attack at this time.”
—Brent Scowcroft, national security advisor during the first Gulf War
In a major blow to Bush, the Joint Chiefs of Staff recently declared that Iraq poses no immediate threat to its neighbors or to the U.S. The military leaders warned that a U.S. attack would be unnecessarily costly and bloody, and would require a long and complicated occupation. They argued that the current U.S. policy of “containing” Saddam has prevented Iraq from developing weapons of mass destruction. This view is shared by top State Department and CIA officials.
On Aug. 14, Brent Scowcroft, national security advisor to President Bush during the Gulf War and widely seen as a mouthpiece for his former boss, penned what the New York Times called “a cannon shot across the White House lawn.” Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Scowcroft argued “There is a virtual consensus in the world against attack at this time.” He said an attack could lead to “an explosion against us” that might incite new terror attacks on Western targets and threaten Middle Eastern regimes allied with the U.S.
Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger expressed similar concerns in a Washington Post opinion article.
Other government officials and economists warn that the Gulf War of 1990 cost $61 billion and helped set off an economic recession caused in part by a spike in oil prices. Rep. John Spratt (D-S.C.), a budget expert, said a new war might mean deeper deficits and less money for reviving the economy or providing affordable drugs to ailing seniors.
Top Republican congressional leaders have also broken with President Bush on Iraq. On Aug. 8, Dick Armey, the House Majority leader and a close Bush ally, stated that even if Saddam Hussein blocks new weapons inspections, the U.S. would still not have the right to mount an unprovoked attack on Iraq.
A debate inside the Democratic Party has opened up, too. Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.), a decorated Vietnam veteran, appears to be testing out a presidential run on an anti-war platform.
President Bush says he is “listening” to critics, but unconstitutionally reserves for himself the sole right to choose war or peace. And his military buildup around Iraq continues.