A war against Iraq would add the loss of more innocent lives to those lost due to Saddam’s regime and the UN sanctions. But I am much more concerned that the repercussions of war could run out of control: anti-Americanism would grow, the democratisation of Iraq would fail, the recruitment of fighters for terrorist attacks would get easier, the risk of a destabilisation of the whole region is high.
The accusation that the US could gradually bring the whole Gulf region under her control seems to be wrong; the resources required would be beyond those even of the US. All this is only one side of the coin. The other is the Saddam problem. He has led two brutal wars and then failed to comply with the conditions of the United Nations. Right now he is the biggest real threat to the region and beyond that if he cannot be stopped.
I would like to ask those who are – like me - against the war: how do you want to get rid of this threat? By continuing the sanctions, which have wrought so much suffering on Iraq because Saddam used them against his own people? I do not have an answer to these questions and sincerely hope that somebody can offer a convincing solution.
© Friedemann Müller 2003
Originally published as part of a debate on 6th February 2003 Writers, artists and civic leaders on the War: Pt. II