*** Most Americans favor bombing Iraq - poll

Robert S. Thau (rst@ai.mit.edu)
Thu, 13 Nov 1997 17:50:56 -0500 (EST)

tbyars@earthlink.net writes:
> Most Americans say the U.S. should bomb Iraq if it continues to block
> U.S. citizens from taking part in U.N. arms inspections, and 8 in 10
> or 84% favor retaliation if Baghdad tries to shoot down U.S. spy
> planes, an ABC poll said Wednesday.

Great. Once again, the press tells the public what to believe, and
then releases a poll confirming that they believe it.

This is, unfortunately, a messy situation. On the one hand, Saddam is
more than likely up to something nasty. On the other hand, the very
fact that he is presently up to something nasty even under the
sanctions regime shows that the sanctions just don't work --- they
don't motivate that government to do anything in particular. And
their effect on the general Iraqi population, who are finding it hard
to find decent food to eat, let alone medical care, has been

So, on the one hand, it's pretty clearly important to get monitoring
back into place, using whatever means are necessary and useful. Even
I, bleeding heart that I am, wouldn't rule out a military strike if
that's what it takes --- but bear in mind that the effect of that on
our relations with other Arab governments would be nasty at best.

On the other hand, the sanctions just don't look useful. Perhaps it's
time to try something else --- but that would involve the
U.S. government admitting it made a mistake in dealing with a hostile
power. Not likely.