Why We'd Be Nuts To Attack Iraq
An email conversation about the news of the day.
Feb. 25 2002 12:34 PM


I was struck this weekend by the weird juxtaposition of stories surrounding a possible U.S. military strike at Iraq. As you know, I have made no secret of my fear that such an attack would work against our interests in the Islamic world. Whatever benefit we would gain by knocking over Saddam and the Baathist Party would be overtaken in time by the wrath of the Arabs generally, but specifically the young. I try to always think of two groups: the 15 year-old kid in Cairo just picking up his worldview and the 25-year-old graduate who doesn't have a job but spends his days drinking coffee and talking politics. What percent of either group would we have rooting for us in a war with Iraq, a war to take over Iraq and replace the Baathists with a government of our selection? I think we're nuts to even contemplate such a campaign.


That said, I was struck by two stories this weekend: 1) the Washington Post report that, due to the intense use of our ordnance in Afghanistan, we simply lack the materiel to go into Iraq and will lack it for more than six months; the Miami Herald story (I was down there) about how Israelis are prepared for a Scud attack from Iraq, how they're preparing with gas masks and with Arrow missiles that are capable of hitting Scuds at 30 miles up with enough time for a second try. This reminds me that the first target of Saddam if and when we strike will be Tel Aviv. Having given Israel the go-ahead to respond, that would put the United States into a war alliance with Israel. That could put the entire Arab world on the other side. So let's put all this together, gang.

Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC's and CNBC's Hardball, is a nationally syndicated columnist and author of three books, including his Now, Let Me Tell You What I Really Think.



More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

IOS 8 Comes Out Today. Do Not Put It on Your iPhone 4S.

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

How Much Should You Loath NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?

Here are the facts.

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows


The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything

It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.


Happy Constitution Day!

Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.

The Ungodly Horror of Having a Bug Crawl Into Your Ear and Scratch Away at Your Eardrum

My Father Was James Brown. I Watched Him Beat My Mother. Then I Married Someone Like Him.

  News & Politics
The World
Sept. 17 2014 4:08 PM How Teflon Is Vladimir Putin’s Popularity?
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
Sept. 17 2014 1:59 PM Ask a Homo: Secret Ally Codes 
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 17 2014 4:36 PM Is Nonfiction the Patriarch of Literary Genres?
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 4:07 PM Kern Your Enthusiasm: The Genius of Jenson’s Roman
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 12:35 PM IOS 8 Comes Out Today. Do Not Put It on Your iPhone 4S.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 17 2014 11:18 AM A Bridge Across the Sky
Sports Nut
Sept. 17 2014 3:51 PM NFL Jerk Watch: Roger Goodell How much should you loathe the pro football commissioner?