Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don’t

There’s a subject that keeps surfacing whenever the war in Iraq comes up in my discussions with friends and co-workers. It has to do with outcomes of this war.

It looks pretty clear that the U.S. will prevail and that the so-called ‘coalition of the willing’ will have the opportunity to build the foundation for a new government in Iraq. But what about those pesky weapons of mass destruction?

There are two scenarios:

The first scenario is that we scour the country and do not find any compelling evidence of nuclear or biological weapons. (This, of course, still would not mean that they were not part of Saddam’s regime, just that we haven’t found them or that he moved them to some allied nation or offshore. But for all intents and purposes, they don’t exist.) In this case, for all the world, the U.S. looks like it has gone into this endeavor looking like the revenge-seeking bullies that so much of the world has portrayed us to be. Our international relations are permanently damaged.

The second scenario, on the other hand, is that the coalition does find such weapons. In this case, we will have a gloating president and a public that is stirred into patriotic frenzy by this perceived vindication. Worldwide, the cliche of Americans being arrogant is borne out by our actions. Our international relations are permanently damaged.

Oh, yes. This second scenario virtually guarantees another 4-year term for the Bushster.

And let’s face it: either of these scenarios virtually guarantees that we will have more terrorist activity against the United States and U.S. interests, both at home and abroad. We may be able to unseat a dictator through brute force. But the application of such force only incites the Al Qaeda’s of the world into action.

Get that duct tape ready.