To bomb or not to bomb? |

To bomb or not to bomb?

To bomb, or not to bomb? That is the question. In the beginning there is always a question.

Encased in our lumpy little heads is a thing they call the brain. Most brains weigh about three pounds and look a lot like a giant walnut. A man’s brain is bigger than a woman’s, but women’s bodies are smaller, so their brains are actually larger for their body size. Size doesn’t matter. Some small-brained people are smart and some big-brained people aren’t.

The outer layer of our brains is called the cerebral cortex and is commonly referred to as gray matter. The right half controls spatial and artistic intelligence. The left half controls reading, writing, arithmetic and memory. There are over 50 billion nerve cells in the average brain, and my goal today is to implant a thought into one of them.

The United States is going to have to pay four dollars for every nerve cell in your brain to eliminate Saddam Hussein. Every man, woman and child in America will have to pay about 727 dollars to rid the world of Iraq’s leader. That’s right, for about 200 billion dollars, each and every one of us will pay approximately two dollars a day for the next year to crack Saddam’s little three-pound walnut and make the world a safer place for people more like us.

As these electrochemical impulses are transmitted through your nervous system, try to remember why we’re doing this. Um … uh … oh yeah, Saddam doesn’t like Americans. He doesn’t like football players, construction workers, environmentalists, bankers, real estate salesmen, plumbers, river guides, musicians, housewives or columnists. He hates all Americans, and he wants us all to die. The neuritic plaque in Saddam’s brain cells prevent him from seeing how good we are, so we’re going to have to kill him.

President Bush seems to think that we live in a new kind of kill-or-be-killed world. His short-term and long-term neurons tell him he has the right to pre-emptively attack anyone who might want to harm the United States or our allies.

Many Americans and world citizens have expressed dark suspicions that we don’t have enough proof to justify an invasion. The White House has been intentionally vague. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said, “There are three issues here. There is the issue of what we know. There is the issue of what we don’t know. And there is the issue of what we don’t know we don’t know.” This neurofibrillary tangle just doesn’t help. We need proof.

If you are a victim of memory impairments, may I remind you that Saddam is no saint. In the 1990’s Iraq admitted it made anthrax, agricultural toxins, cinogenic aflatoxin and the paralyzing poison botulinum. They had 191 bombs and 25 missile warheads loaded for the Gulf War. They had mustard gas, sarin and deadly VX nerve poison and over 6000 chemical bombs. They had 817 scud missiles and some long range missiles. They were six months away from completing a crude nuclear bomb.

Last month, Vice President Dick Cheney hinted that Saddam would acquire an A-bomb “fairly soon.” He suggested that Saddam might use the bomb to “seek domination of the entire Middle East, take control of a great portion of the world’s energy supply, directly threaten America’s friends and subject the U.S. to nuclear blackmail.”

It’s about oil again.

It would be the perfect revenge for the years of sanctions we’ve imposed on him, wouldn’t it? It’s no wonder the President wants to invade Iraq. Fear has flooded his limbic lobe at the prospect of a catastrophic economic collapse should Saddam succeed.

There is a great deal of circumstantial evidence to suggest that Saddam’s intentions are malicious, but it’s not American nature to invade another country based on intuition. If we attack first, then we are the aggressors and it’s logical to assume that the rest of the world will view us as such. Unfortunately, if we wait for proof, the smoking gun could be a mushroom cloud. It’s a dilemma my three-pound brain has struggled to unravel. There can be no winners.

The President wants Saddam’s head on a platter, and he’s willing to pay 200 billion hard-earned dollars for Saddam’s three-pound brain. He’s willing to risk the lives of American soldiers to do it. He’s willing to risk instability in the Middle East. He’s willing to risk world opinion against us. He’s willing to risk economic hardships. He’s willing to risk our moral high-ground by allowing a strategy that permits invasions without provocation. With that last thought, I’d say he’s willing to risk too much.

To bomb, or not to bomb is still the question. The hippos on my campus say “not to bomb” is the answer.



Silt resident Bernie Boettcher’s column runs every other Thursday in the Post Independent.

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