Posted this over in the commercial aviation area....but this post is more scattered and broad than I thought. So perhaps this is a better place to state my feelings, observations, etc....
It's obvious that everyone has an opinion about this. For awhile I was wishing this would simply quiet down and things would proceed. However, look at what is happening. War talk is strong...and the DOW is up over 230 points right now. The thing that is killing us the most right now is the waiting. Will he comply...if he doesn't...then what? Pass another resolution to give him more time? For a long time there have just been questions with a fuzzy timeline on when things would take place. Now we have a much clearer picture of a time time...72 hours or so...and people finally know what to do with their money. All the investors on the sidelines will start buying again as the uncertainty fades and the economy will slowly begin to recover a bit.
Now in terms of airlines...this will help some as well. Of course...since Saddam is reportedly ready to set all of his oil fields on fire again - freaking psycho - gas prices will increase some. Not so much here...but a great deal in countries like France that have strong dependence on Iraqi oil (reportedly in exchange for arms). Southwest will be golden, they are 80% hedged for the rest of the year. JetBlue is around 40% hedged...and down from there. The numbers are in last week's Aviation Week.
Gulf War I took out Pan Am, Eastern (with help from the mechanics), etc. This one will take out United and other unprotected airlines. US Airways should be okay...14 days till emergence...and all employees have contract language instituting an immediate 5% pay cut once war starts. Of course....in come Force Majure and it is a contract burning party all over again - not just has U, but at the others as well.
What exactly will happen? Who knows. The problem up until this point has been the lack of any definitive timeline...which is what investors want. They got it, finally.
So is George W taking us in the wrong direction? As he said...his main job is to protect the constitution and this country. It is like your parents scolding you and you wanting to know why...and they look at you and say "Trust me." He can't tell us everything that is going on...nor can he tell everyone else. This is something the US, UK and Spain believe in so much that they are ready to go in without the help of the typical allies. Let those that speak out against this war hope to god that a weapon that wasn't disclosed earlier to the UN, doesn't get dropped on our troops or Israel or Turkey. Should that time come - I will be the first one on Liberty Island helping to dismantle the old girl and prepping her to be sent back to France. Then, the next time a world threat arises in Europe...the US should stay out of it, like we are being told, and allow walls to be built in Germany and millions of people executed or put into slavery throughout France, Germany, etc.
Sometimes you have to look at the bigger picture. Do we want to let Saddam go on with his weapons programs? Do we want to let him hand his country down to one of his sons that will be more ruthless than he? Or do we want to liberate Iraq from a dictatorship - let the people pick a true leader and open their country back up to the rest of world. There by creating a huge flow of money and oil from Iraq to the world and tons of supplies and technology from the world to Iraq.
This war is a hurdle we must get over before it gets better...sitting around waiting another 12 years for George Bush III to get into office won't do us any good if the rest of Manhattan has a large mushroom cloud over it, Paris and Berlin are once again war zones...and the middle east is completely destablized with a massive oil crisis.