Three-and-a-half years ago, a group of students on campus invited faculty members to write brief essays about the situation in Iraq. I wrote the following, which was included in the collection. I happened across it the other day and thought it might be interesting:
I just watched the President's State of the Union Address, and I'm no closer to agreeing with him now than I was before. I will concede (at least for the sake of argument) the following: (1) Saddam is an evil man. (2) His people are oppressed. (3) He is more likely than not to have chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction. (4) He has not disarmed and he has not conformed to the demands of the U.N. What follows from these “concessions”? The easy answer is that we should try very hard to get Saddam either to disarm or to go into exile. That would be great. Certainly, the threat of war might achieve one or the other of these goals. If so, bravo. It would a triumph for the United States, and for Iraq. But if not, what then? Does it follow that we should launch a major military attack?