The law of unintended consequences

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By The Staff

Dear Editor,

In regards to Adele Zimmermann’s July 8 letter: It is sad to have someone who obviously has little grasp of either modern or medieval history lecture us on a parallel between them for clearly political reasons. First, let’s deal with modern history.

Iraq was lead by a vicious tyrant who both acquired and used weapons of mass destruction. At the time of the U.S. invasion, he may have only had minor quantities but effectively deceived the world at large into believing he had them or could produce them quickly. The path to producing large amounts of biological weapons once he had the technology was not a long one. He was patiently waiting for the U.N. to lift sanctions so that he could pump oil freely and acquire the income to do as he pleased. Any reasonable estimation of that eventuality would predict an arms race between Iran and Iraq that likely would be unstoppable.

Saddam Hussein had already invaded a neighboring country unprovoked and defied numerous U.N. sanctions that resulted from our necessary forceful intervention in that war. Anyone who says they don’t believe he would have returned to his old ways is either being disingenuous or is a fool. Congress believed thusly and granted President Bush the authority to take military action against Hussein.

Bush inherited a world stage set up by his predecessor who, despite numerous terrorist attacks against this country and its bases overseas, did virtually nothing to retaliate. This lead to an emboldened enemy with strong bases in foreign lands and operatives freely working in this country. The final outcome of this failed policy, as we all know, was the attacks of 9/11. In the last seven years, the battle has been taken to our enemy on foreign soil with no significant attacks in this country. You can thank Bush’s successful strategy for that.

As for the laughable comparison to King John, his situation was a complex political and interfamily fight for power. He was being attacked by his own nephew, who claimed the right to his crown, while alternately being backed by and then betrayed by the French. His dispute with the church was also a multi-lateral fight over the right to appoint a new Archbishop of Canterbury. The dispute was ultimately settled with the church.

The one thing about the liberal mind that never ceases to amaze me is the apparent complete inability to understand the law of unintended consequences. A little analytical thought and studying past mistakes to learn from them would help.

Bill Wolfe

Los Alamos