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Reid Hoffman on Iraq

From Reid Hoffman:

Here's my highlines on these issues.
  1. Iraq is bad, there is no question. And, the only use for weapons of mass destruction is threatening or using them on other nations. (Now, we should all remember, the U.S. also has weapons of mass destruction; Iraq has merely showed an inclination to be an aggressor using them. We'll ignore Hiroshima for the moment.)
  2. On the Iraqi side, I am very worried about what Hussein intends to do with the weapons. He doesn't need them to consolidate his internal power. Furthermore, he's probably exploiting our unfortunate position that we'd rather than him there as a secular government rather than fundamentalist alternative. (E.g. preparing for external aggression.) There really shouldn't be a fear of external aggression, since look at what this costs the U.S. already.
  3. There's a set of conflicting interests. France owns significant rights to Iraqi oil. U.S. is concerned about oil flow due to it's large consumption. It makes it hard to identify just, fair positions. It's one of the reasons why I tend to feel that there should be a U.N. coalition, with at least UK and Germany in favor. (Maybe Australia too.)
  4. The PR of this war is bad. It's after the Hajj, thereby easily positionable as anti-muslim -- the last thing in the world we need.
  5. Bush is mishandling this, in my opinion, due to ego issues. Why do we need this war now on this clock? (I'm a big man; I'm the president of the U.S.; when I talk, others should listen; ???)
  6. For example, I don't think that Iraqi security is organizing anti-war protests as recently leaked by the land of homeland security. It's not credible, and it's an attempt to use slander to limit democracy. I honor the war protestors.
  7. I guess my view comes down to this. I strongly hope that this is a negotiation / bluffing game. This, I would endorse. If it isn't, I wonder why there aren't more intermediate steps before war; e.g. an escalation of stronger sanctions and coalitions. The rush to war, ignoring consensus building on the allies, bothers me.
Reid is in stealth mode at the moment (and requests that he be contacted through me). Previously, he was EVP Business Development for PayPal. We've been friends since meeting a couple of years ago through our mutual friend Eve Helfman.

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