The Gulf: What Price Glory?

Before the U.S. and Iraq start shooting, the costs for both sides -- in fact, for the entire world -- should be carefully weighed

Thousands, possibly tens or even hundreds of thousands of lives snuffed out. Worldwide recession, with high unemployment and inflation combined. Arab hatred smoldering for years and inspiring terrorist attacks on Americans in lands far removed from the Persian Gulf.

That, to be sure, is a worst-imaginable-case assessment of the possible costs of a U.S.-Iraq war. The actual costs might not be quite that disastrous; they would in any case depend on a string of variables so long -- (the length of the war, number of troops involved, whether chemical weapons are used, intensity of air raids, accuracy of Iraqi missiles and...

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