For those who are decided on the question of military force against Iraq please help me answer the following questions for I hear little discussion of them and very few people demanding these answers from Mr. Bush - not the US Congress, not the media and not the American people:

1. What are the estimates for the total number of people expected to die? (Soldiers and innocents from both sides should be listed separately here).

2. Will Mr. Bush use 'small' tactical nuclear weapons against Iraq? He has already opened the door for their use - at his discretion.

3. If Iraq launches its weapons against Israel in an attempt to 'use or lose' them will Israel respond with its own nuclear arsenal? Mr. Sharon has already publicly stated that this will be a viable option.

4. Will either India or Pakistan then feel free to use their own nuclear weapons in order to preempt the other?

5. Will Russia see this new preemptive philosophy as an invitation to eliminate their Own 'terrorist' Chechen threat? Does Russia still have nuclear capabilities?

6. What will be the long-term consequences for the world as a result of our preemptive example? Will we have any authority to compel others not to use such preemptive force?

7. Why are a number of high-ranking former US military personnel urging extreme caution regarding the pending war with Iraq and some even arguing against any military action?

8. Does the fact that Iraq has the second largest reserve of oil in the world enter into the decision to have a presence and/or a friendly regime in Iraq?

9. Is this but the first step in Mr. Bush's quest to position the US for world domination? Read the recently published 'National Security Strategy of the US' -a rewrite of Mr. Cheney's 10 year old doctrine 'Defense Planning Guidance for 1994-1999' (written in 1992) for the US to be the only remaining superpower - militarily and economically - at all costs. What is our definition of 'The New World Order'?

10. Who will fill the power vacuum in the event that we do topple Saddam's Government? Are we ready to occupy Iraq for the foreseeable future?

10a. Will the Kurds in Northern Iraq take the opportunity to declare their independence from Iraq and, if so, will Turkey invade northern Iraq to prevent a separate Kurdish State?

10b. Will the Shiites in Iraq take this opportunity to establish their own power base in Iraq? Would this work against the US goal of trying to create a new democratic Iraqi Nation?

10c. What length of time is the US willing to stay in Iraq to try and build this new Iraqi Nation?

11. Will Israel believe they have a freer hand against the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian people as the world's attention is focused on Iraq?

12. Is the US financed, continuing Israeli offensive responsible, at least in part, for the anger, hatred, and aggression directed at our country?

13. Will our commitments in the rest of the world, especially in Afghanistan, fall by the wayside? And what will the consequences be?

14. Is it possible that this invasion could result in such resentment that we could be less safe in the world than we are today? Should we consider our attitude toward the rest of the world a possible problem?

15. Can the US really control all the possible scenarios that this violence could unleash? If not, are we prepared for the outcome? (Look at the difficulty finding one gunperson terrorizing the Washington, DC area)

16. What will be our total cost to try and achieve a new democratic Iraqi Nation? I've heard reports of over 200 billion dollars before our long-term commitment even begins. We have already gone from an 86 billion-dollar surplus in 2000, to a 314 billion-dollar deficit this year.

17. What will the American people have to give up paying for the war? Could it possibly be giving up: a. even more liberties? b. the initiatives for better education with the focus of 'leave no child behind'? c. the idea of reducing the ever-growing 41 million Americans from the ranks of the uninsured (nearly 2 million added just this year)? d. the hope of global cooperation on issues that pose real threats to our health and well-being such as environmental degradation, the AIDS pandemic, the millions dying of starvation, etc.? e. the 100 billion dollar tax cut? f. the possibility of an economic recovery in the not to distant future? g. the need for a viable social security system? h. a seat at the table of the community of nations? i. our children's and grandchildren's future?

18. Why are these questions less important than the heated debate, widespread discussion, extended national focus and massive media coverage of Monica and O.J? I believe that the support for Mr. Bush's war, touted in the 'polls' as overwhelming, is actually a thin veneer as a result of fear based rhetoric and a concerted effort to label any dissent un-American and any dissenter an enemy of the state. If a true national debate were to occur as to the direction, tenor and posture that this country should take as a world leader and as such, how our resources could be marshaled to address real issues of survival, then I believe the American people would respond as a force for creative, sustainable, positive action on the world stage. We as a nation do not speak with one voice, Mr. Bush, but have a long history of open and forceful dissent - a democracy.

Gary Langley
New Castle, NH

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