INTRO: Commentator Rick Hubbard is concerned about whether our possible invasion of Iraq, and its consequences, will in the long run strengthen or weaken our national security.
I believe our country is strongest when using its power and prestige working collaboratively with other nations to safeguard citizens, spread democracy and freedom, protect basic human rights, provide political and economic choice, and expand and strengthen the rule of law throughout the world.
Today, the United States enjoys a position of unparalleled military and economic power. We have much to lose. With only four point six percent of the world’s population, we bring home twenty four percent of the world’s entire economic production. Whether we use our power to invade Iraq, and under what circumstances, and with what consequences, poses a truly watershed moment for our country.
There are those amongst us today who advocate for an imperial United States, pre-emptive invasions and military domination of space. In the name of fighting terrorism and preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction they are dismissive of the United Nations and the rule of international law.
This is a false choice which will affect our political influence and reputation, our economic strength and our national security itself over the next ten, twenty, even fifty years.
For the rest of the world will be watching:
To see if we follow international law or step outside it to serve our own interests;
To see if we use our power to allow the people of the world to make their own lives better.
To see if we will preserve the peace by building good relations among the great powers.
If the rest of the world perceives we are using our military and economic strength primarily in ways that benefit us, at their expense, they will over time take action to counter our strength and success. If this happens, those who lead us will have weakened our national security.
Countries will create trading alliances among themselves to counter and diminish our economic success.
Terrorism will increase, far faster than we can reduce it.
We will have less cooperation from other countries within the international community.
We will increasingly be drawn into other conflicts, first in Iraq and subsequently perhaps in Iran, Saudi Arabia, or other countries. We will have fewer international allies and our economic, military and human resources will stretch thin.
Less money will be available for our health care, education, and for working cooperatively with other nations to improve lives and reduce the threat of terrorism and war.
This will weaken our economic engine and it will be harder and harder to pay our military bills and provide for our own citizens. Our national security will weaken and our quality of life will deteriorate.
This must not happen. To prevent it, our country must act and be perceived as a cooperative world leader working within the rule of international law. Our future national security is at stake.
BIO: This is Rick Hubbard from South Burlington, Vermont.