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Going into Iraq Was a Mistake

Göteborg, Sweden, April 2003

World Trade CenterJust as Bush, Blair and company feel morally compelled to use their weapons to disarm Iraq, I am compelled to use my website as a megaphone for saying that they are making a mistake. I thought a long time before publishing a political article unrelated to the rail industry on a railway site, and my message is short, so hear me out:

Military and even moral superiority is not enough to win the war in Iraq, because the action does not have wide enough support. The war intensifies hate against the US. It will ensure the continued vitality of al-Qaida and other terrorist organisations. By acting without the approval of important allies like France, Germany, Russia, and Iraq's neighbouring countries, the US has earned the disapproval of not only its enemies, but also of its friends.

As an object of hate for much of the Arab world, the US can not afford to wage this war in opposition to its friends and without the United Nations.

Democracy in Iraq will fail if it is perceived as being American democracy, because it will be unwelcome by too many of the people it is supposed to help.

I hope the alliance will learn quickly from the mistakes it is making.

Erik Sandblom

Arthur Schlesinger has written an eloquent article on this subject: Good Foreign Policy a Casualty of War. It was published in the Los Angeles Times March 23rd but is widely available on the internet. It's even available in Swedish.