There are benefits to war


Published: Saturday, March 1, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, February 28, 2003 at 10:27 p.m.
In historical perspective, long periods of world peace occur with a predominant nation - the best known examples are the Pax Romana (50 B.C.-300 A.D.) and the Pax Britannica (1815-1914).
The more recent 1945-1998 period was a less stable "balance of power" situation where the United States and the Russia managed to not implement a mutual-suicide pact.
We are now in the Pax Americana, of unknown duration. This is our destiny, to use a pretentious but suitable word. We will probably get the love, respect and admiration of the rest of the world to the same degree that the Romans and British did, which was not much.
About Iraq: The degree of compliance induced in Saddam Hussein is entirely due to our tangible threatening posture, which will not remain credible if not implemented soon. Also, a short war would be cheaper than indefinite containment, for the benefit of other countries, but at the expense of the United States and, to some extent, Britain.
Either way, hegemony has its price. An example must be made of this barbarian, and the sooner the better.

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