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Excerpted from Howard Phillips Issues and Strategy Bulletin of February 15, 1998

There are at least ten reasons why America should not now make war on Iraq, even if it were certain that such an effort would be "successful":

1) President William J. Clinton lacks the moral authority to function properly as Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces of the United States.

2) Let's not change the subject. The Number One business of the nation at this time should be the removal from office of William J. Clinton.

3) It is unconstitutional for America to go to war without a Congressional declaration of war.

4) Given the present set of facts, there is no Constitutional predicate on the basis of which Congress has the authority to initiate war, even with a declaration of war.

5) Wars of defense are morally appropriate. Foreign wars for purposes other than national defense are not.

6) In war, there is no substitute for victory. Victory, as commonly understood, with respect to an assault on Iraq, has not been defined, let alone declared to be the objective of any such attack.

7) The Federal government's ability to provide for the common defense (of the United States) is substantially diminished in consequence of resources expended during President Bush's "Operation Desert Storm". Not only have America's arsenal and battle-ready personnel resources not been fully restored, they have, in fact, been radically depleted since Desert Storm, in consequence of massive reductions in Congressionally authorized spending for the defense of the United States (even as expenditures for U.N. intervention operations and other "social policy objective" activities have risen). Defense analyst Peter Schweizer, now at the Hoover Institution, who favors air strikes, nonetheless observes that "[t]hanks to military cutbacks, we don't have anything close to the force that won Desert Storm. In 1991, the U.S. Air Force had 24 fighter wings to draw from. Today it only has 13. That means fewer planes and (even more importantly) pilots. Desert Storm was fought with two Marine divisions, seven active Army divisions, and combat brigades of two additional divisions. Now, that commitment alone would exhaust all of the Army's 10 active divisions." (Source: USA Today, 2/18/98, p. 15A)

8) The strategic position of the United States in the world may be diminished, rather than enhanced, by an attack on Iraq. Many regimes friendly to the United States will be placed at severe risk if they are seen to assist, or even favor, the U.S. attack.

9) If we "succeed", what have we gained? If we don't begin a war, what have we lost?

10) War has consequences which are often unintended and almost always beyond comprehensive anticipation. If we and our "allies" join to attack Iraq, Iraq and its allies may combine to attack us in ways which cannot be fully foreseen. How many planes will crash? How many water supplies will be polluted? How many nuclear weapons will be detonated? How many civilian targets will be made subject to terrorist assault? Will chemical weapons be deployed?

The fundamental issue is whether Bill Clinton's military action against Iraq is important enough to die for. I am prepared to die in defense of God, family, and country---but I don't believe that this preemptive strike against Iraq is worth dying for. Ask yourself: is it worth your life, or that of your spouse, your child, your parent, or your neighbor?

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