Are we safer post-Iraq? 

By my calculations, we're a lot worse off!

By Steve Kirsch

Bush said he went to war to protect America....his sworn duty. His goal is to increase our make us safer.

But has he done that? Do you feel safer? Shouldn't we know how much "safer" we are now? Or whether we are less safe?

Here's my idea:

Has anyone asked Bush for a document that calculates, in a manner than can survive independent third party expert review, how much safer we are post-Iraq?

If there isn't such a document, then why isn't there? Did someone forget to do it? Did we not have any funds or time to do this? And how could you have gone to war without making the cost/benefit calculation?

If there is such a document, where is it?

My "back of the envelope" calculation shows we are substantially more at risk as a result of Bush's actions!

Here's a quick quiz:

  • How many terrorist attacks against the US since the first Iraq war have been unambiguously determined to have been supplied (people, money, or arms) by Iraq?
  • What clear and convincing evidence do we have now, now that we have invaded Iraq and all these scientists now can speak freely without any fear of retribution, that, before we announced the war on Iraq, that Iraq was planning on supplying weapons, money, or people to terrorists groups that were planning to harm the US? 
  • If Iraq had all these weapons of mass destruction that they are supplying to terrorist groups to unleash on the US, why didn't they unleash any of them on the US when the US attacked Iraq?

If you do not know the answer to either of these questions, then how can you have an informed opinion on whether the war against Iraq is justifiable?

Has Bush ever presented this information to the American people? Do you think if he had it he would? Of course he would. The reason he hasn't presented it is because it does not exist. Is there any other possible explanation?

If this war was about ensuring that Iraqis are fed, clothed, healthy, and secure, hundreds of thousands are still in serious jeopardy. If this war was about bringing democracy to the Iraqi people, we haven't even begun that project. If it was about removing Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, we haven't found any. If it was about reducing the threat of terrorism, we've done nothing -- except perhaps to fan the flames of Muslim fundamentalism. If it was about stabilizing the region, right now there is increased instability. And if it was about bringing the world together to address threats to our security, we've clearly done the opposite. Only if the war was about taking Saddam out of power -- and literally nothing else -- did this week's events signal victory.

Was it a good use of $100B to use it to disarm an unarmed nation and throw it into total chaos and generate animosity towards the US throughout the world?

The calculation of whether we are safer or not

Terrorism and willingness to supply people and funding for terrorism is proportional to overall dislike of the US. That has probably at least doubled as a result of our war on Iraq. For example, when a foreign nation goes from an 80% approval rating of the US to a 50% approval rating of the US, that's more than a doubling of the people who dislike us.

The risk of terrorism also proportional to the "intensity" of that dislike. That's probably at least doubled as well. For example, the number of people participating in street demonstrations against Bush since pre-911 days are up by way more than a factor of 10.

Bush would argue that the risk has gone down since Iraq is no longer a supplier of logistics to terrorist groups. So you subtract the percentage of worldwide terrorist funds, training camps, people, and arms supplied by Iraq (probably less than 10% if you were really optimistic...I can't think of any ties that survive any close scrutiny), but then you discount that by probably 75% because that supply will just shift to another country.

So there is a minimal drop in the overall supply chain of WMD to terrorists (2.5%), but at least a quadrupling of the "terrorist base."

That's a huge net loss. I don't see how it can be calculated any other way.

That's my analysis. I'd love to see the Bush analysis. If he doesn't supply it, I think Congress should hold up any war funding until he does with a filibuster. If he does supply it, experts and academics will rip it to shreds and show the opposite is true.

Either way, as responsible lawmakers and representatives of the American public, I think our Members of Congress have to demand such a document.

The key questions

Where does Iraq stand in relation to other countries as a:

  • source of funds 
  • source of weapons of mass destruction
  • source of people

to terrorist organizations? Do you know? Does anyone know? Is there a reason nobody is talking about this?

Some more questions and actions to take

  • Ask Bush the two quick quiz questions above.
  • Ask Bush for pre-existing documents, before the war started, from the pentagon, cia, fbi, etc. that analyzed whether disarming Iraq would increase our safety or decrease it. If there are no studies done before the war, Bush looks really bad. If there are documents, they'll probably conclude what I did and bush looks really bad as well.
  • Ask Bush for a pie chart showing the contribution each of the top 10 most evil countries makes to terrorism: a pie chart for funding, a pie chart for people, a pie chart for training, and a pie chart for weapons supply. I'd love to see where Iraq and other countries fall on that list. I'd like to understand how much of the worldwide funding for terrorists is supplied by Iraq, how much of the worldwide arms supply for terrorists is supplied by Iraq, etc. Of course, if Bush doesn't have this info, then how could he have picked Iraq to target first? And if he does have the info, it's going to prove Iraq is probably nearly last on any list. And if it doesn't prove Iraq is a low priority, then he's going to look bad too when lots of independent expert analysis show that his numbers are completely bogus and that he's risking American lives on bad data.
  • Have Bush give Congress  the order, by country, of the countries with the most "devastating" weapons, and prioritize it.
  • Have Bush give Congress the order, by country, of the countries who supply the most $ to funding terrorism
  • Have Bush give Congress the order, by country, of the countries who supply the most terrorists
  • Have Bush tell Congress what evidence we have that Iraq has actually supplied weapons to terrorist groups
  • Have Bush tell Congress what evidence we have that Iraq has actually manufactured chemical or biological weapons in recent history and supplied those weapons to terrorists (as opposed to merely possessing them which we still can't prove even after invading their country and interrogating all the prisoners we have)
  • Have Bush explain why, if Iraq isn't at the top of any of those lists, why it was so urgent that we attack Iraq vs. the other countries (like Saudi Arabia, N. Korea).
  • Congress asks MIT or Stanford or Harvard to produce a report telling us whether we are safer or not. How can Republicans not go along with that? Surely Republicans want to protect our country, don't they? Or maybe we should ask Yale...Bush can't criticize the choice since he went there. Or the GAO??
  • How much is the "cost" of reducing global warming? That threatens us all, but we are told we can't afford it. But we easily afford $100B+ to disarm a nation which has no arms and is no threat to us. If we can afford to spend $100B on doing nothing, shouldn't we be able to afford $1 trillion dollars to address a real threat acknowledged by leaders worldwide? Isn't that the war we should be fighting?