The UnAustralian

Thursday, February 27, 2003
José Ramos-Horta and Iraq

Recently, José Ramos-Horta has written an editorial in the New York Times titled "War for Peace? It Worked in My Country".

In principle, I see agree with Ramos-Horta, Saddam should be persuaded to go into exile, and failing that force should be used to remove him from power. Innocent people will die, but as an end result, a democratic free Iraq will be worth it (I feel like a bastard for rationalising away human life, but on an intellectual level, I can justify it).

However, what worries me, is that we won't get a democratic free Iraq at the other end. If we end up with either a token change, or a Iraq wracked with violent ethnic conflict, then it won't be worth it.

And that gets me onto the next part of my rant, I really don't trust Bush and advisors to do the right thing. While the initial war in Afghanistan went well, the subsequent rebuilding hasn't. The government controls a few major cities, with warlords controlling the provinces. The Taliban is regrouping, and country appears to be dropping out of international view. Funds for rebuilding were initially forgotten in the latest budget. If the war in Iraq does some serious damage to the world's economy (and with the US government already in deficit), how readily will the Whitehouse allocate significant amounts of funds to Iraq for rebuilding. I like to think that they would be willing to take some pain to help out, but I really don't see that happening.

| 11:12 PM