OK, let’s try again.
Here’s a proposition sure to stir up some hornet nests.
A war with Iraq is inevitable exactly because there is so much opposition to it.
Restated, the opposition to a war can be the key factor in starting a war.
Is that difficult to wrap your mind around? Well, let me explain.
If we take as a given the fact that a particular leader is a threat or has violated a treaty (admittedly, some of you will debate the hypothesis and evidence) then it should be evident that there are both practical and moral obligations among the world community to punish him/her and take the necessary actions to eliminate a threat. If the entire world community aligned behind the necessity to take action, including a possible war, then the bad guy would see that the only possible outcomes were either capitulation or destruction. Assuming the bad guy and the rest of his regime are not suicidal, the only acceptable outcome would be capitulation. Universal agreement on the willingness to go to war makes the actual war unnecessary! Now that’s what I call diplomacy!
Unfortunately, we don’t have universal agreement, and we don’t even really have majority agreement. Under these circumstances, there are more possible outcomes, including victory for the bad guy. Why capitulate if victory is even a possibility? The answer is that you don’t capitulate; you continue to lie, bluff and outlast the people who can’t make the commitment to oppose you. When they tire out, you can do whatever you want.
Of course, eventually, the bad guy will push people over the edge and those people will commit to a war thousands of time larger than if they had made the commitment earlier. As the saying goes, “you can pay me now, or you can pay me later.”
Fortunately we have some world leaders who are students of history and know how this works. George is one, and Tony Blair is another. You see, the British made the same mistake not long ago in historical terms.
Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it, so I’ll present a little refresher course for people who slept through class. In 1936, Germany, under you-know-who (because I know how people
hate direct comparisons), decided to throw out the Treaty of Versaille because Germany just didn’t like it anymore. You-know-who decided to try to see what he could get away with, and marched German troops into Alsace / Lorraine and retake it from France. Pacifism was the order of the day. World opinion was that it was no immediate threat and he was unopposed. The British in particular said all he did was “march into his own backyard.” Naturally, the French mounted no opposition to the taking of their own land. You-know-who later even admitted that they could have thrown him out of the Rhineland with very little effort and his political career would have been over. Instead, he stayed, and grew in power due to that bold success. The English came to regret their pacifism as a few years later England and the entire world became embroiled in a war where millions died, all because of that bit of pacifism and lack of commitment a few years earlier.
I’m glad Tony Blair, among others, is not going to commit the same mistake.
So the next time you listen to a war protestor, you can remind him/her that he/she can “pay up now, or pay up later.”