As the United States moves to justify attacking Iraq, Vice President Dick Cheney delivered a speech warning that the nation should not stand idly by as Iraq compiles nuclear technology. While the vice president is correct that intelligence has been gathered about Iraq’s potential plans to create nuclear weapons, the United States should not act hastily to attack the Middle Eastern country based on rumor and mistakes made by past administrations.
While President George W. Bush has been criticized for trying to avoid the mistakes his father made during the Gulf War, it also seems he is trying to show that he will act on intelligence gathered about potentially dangerous nations or groups as he has been accused of having failed to do in the case of Sept. 11.
However, Bush may be more interested in showing he can utilize information by warning Iraq that should it continue to develop nuclear weapons, it should expect a U.S. attack.
According to The New York Times, Cheney contends that Saddam Hussein wants time to cultivate his resources, to pool money and create weapons that he can use to “seek domination over the Middle East, take control over a great portion of the world’s energy supplies, directly threaten America’s friends throughout the region and subject the United States or any other nation to nuclear blackmail.”
However, Iraq is not Afghanistan. Is the cost to launch a military affront, estimated at $55 billion, worth combating something that has not and may not happen? Is a preemptive strike appropriate at this point to allow the potential loss of American soldiers’ lives?
The United States cannot suffer another Sept. 11. Before the Bush administration makes plans to invade Iraq, it should be sure there is just cause because launching an unprovoked strike would only jeopardize the current Afghanistan action and possibly ignite other Middle East nations to attack the United States in retaliation.