Some people think we should strike Iraq preemptively to prevent terrible loss of life and property around the world. Had we used this logic with Hitler we could have prevented W.W.II. However we didn't preempt Hitler. We couldn't because of our uncertainty of his progress toward war and the certainty of injuries and costs created by a strike.
Some will say the present decision, to preemptively strike Iraq, is different. Saddam's weapons are more dangerous. Small pox could kill 30% of the worlds unvaccinated population. Saddams weapons, once built, will be almost impossible to protect against.
Does this mean the decision to strike Saddam Hussein is easier. No it is probably just as difficult. Saddam's "weapon builders" are hidden among the Iraqi people. Any preemptive strike will kill innocent people. Moreover a preemptive strike does not guarantee our safety. A strike could trigger the use of weapons already completed and in place.
As we did with Hitler, we will probably not strike preemptively. Saddam, given enough time, will probably complete and use his weapons. And when we retaliate, these weapons will be used even if we turn Iraq into a solid glass sheet.
If we strike it's not pretty. If we wait it's not pretty. Either way, we sacrifice personal freedom to protect ourselves from weapons of mass destruction.
If we are lucky enough to survive Saddams challenge, maybe we should try and understand how we got to this untenable human condition. Maybe we should make the effort to understand what we are doing as a species that brought us Adolphs and Saddams weapons of mass destruction. Maybe we could understand that if we dont change our behavior it will bring us someone new wielding larger weapons and causing larger loses in personal freedom or worse.
What are we doing that brings these leaders to power? Is Saddam an anomaly or just the current incarnation of a line of leaders who respond to existing conditions? If the latter is true, what are these conditions?
The conditions exist when group members experience spiraling downward mobility. When the loss of well-being, leads to a search for a way to stop and then regain loses - even if it means taking by force.
How does our system create spiraling downward mobility. It Is caused by the collected behaviors of having and providing for ones family that leads first to scarcity, and finally to social conflict. Thus downward mobility is an unintended by product of normal behavior.
Blindly creating unwanted conditions is not a new phenomenon of our social system. It's been happening since hunter and gathers were forced into farming?
What is new is that technology has changed the forms of social conflict. Smaller and smaller groups of people with less and less resources can inflict bigger and bigger injuries. Eventually one middleclass web educated person will be able to threaten the lives of billions of people in the most powerful nation. And that nation will have no way to defend itself.
If we are lucky enough to stop Saddam before he can do much harm, if we continue making the conditions of downward mobility, the next crazy man will threaten us with even larger weapons.
We must find a new way of having and providing for our families that does not result in a group's downward mobility. We have to respond to the chain of causality -- family behaviors, losers of well-being, opportunistic leadership, weapons of mass destruction, and loss of personal freedom. If we want to keep these freedoms we have to address the creation of scarcity.
One way to do this is with a rapidly decreasing population. A one child per family behavior will double the resources per person every 30 years. This behavior will change the trend from downward mobility to that of upward. It will stop our trend toward scarcity and social conflict and head us toward abundance, peace, and environmental quality. All we need is a thought process that lights this pathway.