US Looking for Trouble Again
There is a fine line between being proactive and looking for trouble, between a preemptive strike and an all-out war of aggression. People don't need much justification for defending their homeland when it's attacked by a foreign aggressor. Any response is considered justified.
Shortly following the terrorist attacks on September 11th the US had the first taste of a biological attack. An unknown quantity of anthrax developed by the US military for use in weapons was stolen and used to terrorize the nation. The stolen anthrax was used on a limited basis by a few unknown criminals and, perhaps, just one person. Nevertheless, it was enough to kill several people and throw the nation into a gasmask-buying frenzy.
It is possible that these attacks using bioweapons were not related to Al-Qaeda or to the events in Afghanistan. Very little is known about the anthrax attacks and this subject has almost disappeared from the news as soon as it was confirmed that the strain of anthrax used in the attacks came from the US biological weapons program - possibly an ongoing program in violation of international agreements.
It does not take much to imagine that quantities of anthrax or some far more potent forms of bioweapons have been delivered to the US and are in the hands of terrorists awaiting an order to use these weapons. The consequences of such an attack are difficult to imagine, as we may be talking about millions of casualties.
It is only a matter of time until terrorists will learn to manufacture nuclear weapons using widely-available low-grade enriched uranium and centrifuge technology common in pharmaceutical and chemical industries. Quantities of such materials have already been intercepted on their way to places like Afghanistan and Pakistan.
A possibility of using radioactive materials in "dirty" nuclear bombs, also known as radiological bombs, has been raised on numerous occasions in the national media. In such weapons energy from the conventional explosives is used to spread radioactive materials over a large populated area.
It has been rarely mentioned that radiological weapons do not necessarily require an initial explosion to contaminate surrounding areas with highly radioactive materials. Such materials can be spread inconspicuously through a variety of other methods. This very moment you may be breathing air contaminated with microparticles of plutonium and won't know about it until it's too late, or ever.
These are unpleasant things to think about, which, nevertheless, does not make them any less real. What the US will do in regard to the Iraqi situation may have tragic consequences for the American people. The Vietnam War would pale in comparison and the closest analogy for today's stand-off in the Middle East may be the Cuban missile crisis.
We need to ask ourselves whether we want to risk our peaceful, relatively peaceful, existence for the sake of satisfying some personal ambitions in the White House. The threat of terrorism is like a landmine: it's hidden and its waiting. We need to ask ourselves whether stepping on this landmine is the best way of disarming it.