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August 17, 2006

Stop the war FOR terror

Today’s Downsizer-Dispatch . . .

Please forward to concerned friends . . .

Tuesday August 22 is the deadline for Iran to respond to a U.N. ultimatum about its nuclear program. If Iran rejects the ultimatum then that could also be the day President Bush orders an attack on Iran. This would be a disaster for our country and the world, for reasons described below.

President Bush would likely call war with Iran another step in the war on terror. But we would call it another step in the war FOR terror. War with Iran would make terrorism more likely in the future, not less.

We stand on the brink of an abyss. We must not step over the edge into the void. It is time to chart a new course. It is time for a new policy. It is time to . . .

Stop the War FOR Terror

Terrorism is a tactic, not a nation. There are only three ways to reduce the use of this tactic: kill terrorists, capture terrorists, or reduce the number of people who want to become terrorists. U.S. policy has been a manifest failure on all three counts.

Instead of sending sufficient troops to Afghanistan to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden we used those forces to invade Iraq. Supporters of the Iraq invasion say we are killing and capturing terrorists there. This is true. But it is also true that we are creating more terrorists than we are eliminating. The evidence for this is irrefutable. Violence is increasing in Iraq, not decreasing.

The logical reason for this is also irrefutable. Many Iraqis are merely doing exactly what many Americans would do if we were invaded and occupied. This is a predictable consequence of human nature. There are also those in Iraq who are resorting to violence for the sake of their tribe or religious faction. This too was predictable. In fact, we did predict it, at But there’s an even deeper problem. Every time American troops accidentally kill an innocent Iraqi we provide a justification for their friends and relatives to seek revenge through terrorism. (Terrorism has always been the main weapon the weak use against the strong.)

What’s worse, we’ve provoked the entire Islamic world by sending a force of infidel troops to invade and occupy an Islamic country. We’ve humiliated a proud and prickly people. By doing so we’ve snatched certain defeat from probable victory. The entire world was on our side after September 11th. Even most of the Islamic world. But we’ve thrown away that moral and strategic high-ground in exchange for nearly universal animosity and mistrust. We’ve performed the reverse alchemy of turning gold into lead.

The truth is this: Our policy is a terrorist recruitment program beyond Osama Bin Laden’s wildest dreams. We are not fighting a war ON terror, we are fighting a war FOR terror.

Now, having achieved total disaster out of the materials of probable victory, we seem determined to compound our error and multiply the catastrophe by an order-of-magnitude. Our government seems all too willing, if not downright determined, to attack Iran. Our government has even made a point of not precluding the use of nuclear weapons to achieve its goals.

The justification for all this saber-rattling is the same as with Iraq: weapons of mass destruction. We now know that Iraq had no such weapons. The current Downsize DC Team predicted this in advance at We are not prepared to make the same prediction about Iran. The evidence was clear on Iraq (despite what most people thought), but it is not clear with Iran. We are, however, prepared to make the same policy proposal we did then . . .

Deterrence, not war, is the correct policy. We should tell Iran what we have told other nations in the past: “If you use nuclear weapons, or give them to people who use them, you will be wiped out.” This is what we should have done with Iraq. It is what we must do with Iran.

It seems clear to us that our current government prefers preemptive war over deterrence. We gravely fear that our government will do in this case what it has done before, that it will scheme and mislead and manipulate until it gets what it wants: another war with another Islamic country. This must not be permitted, for so many reasons . . .

* War with Iran would be a War FOR Terror, not ON Terror. It would increase the Muslim perception that we are at war with Islam itself. It would recruit more terrorists. The friends and relatives of every innocent person killed by our bombs would become prime recruitment targets for terrorist cells. If we seek to reduce terrorism then we must not go to war with another Islamic country unless we are specifically attacked by that country, or by its agents.

* Iran is the world’s second largest oil provider. War with Iran would disrupt this source of oil and natural gas. It would destroy the world’s economy. War with Iran would send gas prices sky-high. It would destroy your family budget, and maybe your job.

* War costs money and lives, but it also increases domestic government spending. War is the health of the state. Domestic government spending has always grown most during times of war. Government spending and borrowing are too high already. We simply cannot afford another war. (To Downsize DC we must stop the drive to more-and-more war).

Please join with us in preventing the disaster that would come from war with Iran. Please ask Congress to pass a resolution forbidding the President from attacking Iran without a formal declaration of war. You can do so here.

Thank you for being a DC Downsizer.

Jim Babka & Perry Willis
President & Communications Director, Inc.

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