Some rather creative post hoc arguments are being made to justify the unnecessary war the United States waged on a sovereign nation that had not attacked us, was no threat to us, and was certainly no match for us.
One after-the-fact rationalization has it that because, at some point in history, the UN, the French, the Germans, and “everyone else” may have believed or stated that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD), their current objections to the war Bush waged are unjustified. We were only adhering to a common consensus about Saddam’s WMD, the War Party now whines.
This worse-than-asinine reasoning leaves out that saying something is not the same as doing something. To say that Saddam may have had WMD is quite different from advocating war based on those assumptions. It’s one thing to assume in error; quite another to launch a war in which thousands would die based on mere assumptions, however widely shared. It was not the anti-war-on-Iraq camp that intended to launch a war based on the sketchy information it had. The crucial difference between the Bush camp and its opponents lies in the actions the former took.
Those who insisted Saddam had WMD and said war was the only way were certainly not hedging their words or their actions.
Second, it matters a great deal when during the last decade someone said Saddam was in possession of impermissible weapons. “Everyone—the French, the Germans and the UN—agreed Saddam Hussein had WMD” is the battle cry from Fox News’
Naturally, at certain times during
More significantly, the anti-war-on-Iraq camp, the most principled of whom were on the conservative and libertarian Right, agreed that there was no imminent danger from
Michael Novak, a Catholic scholar of religion from the American Enterprise Institute, advances a different after-the-fact justification. The burden of proving
Second, Novak’s rickety reasoning, if one can call it reasoning, omits the one crucial variable—aggression. When initiating war against a nation which is not being aggressive and doesn’t want war, the onus is on the aggressor, not the aggressed against, to justify his actions, at least according to the conventional morality espoused by the pope, Novak’s formidable spiritual leader.
Novak is correct to say that
Novak and his cohort are taking pains to lower the threshold of what constitutes WMD, so that when the administration plants or uncovers a couple of dozen drums of inactive, old goop, minus the necessary dispersing systems, “Boobus Americanus” will easily accept these as the real reason for the war. Unless told by their “truthful” leaders, Americans have little need to apprise themselves of anything, not least that many military experts don’t even consider weapons other than nuclear to be WMD. Or that the few pitiable manned and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) found in
The justification of last resort now animating the nation, thanks to the propagandists, is counteracted by the Future of Freedom Foundation’s Sheldon Richman: “There is no warrant in the U.S. Constitution for the president of the
Surprisingly, National Review’s editors admit that the presence of WMD in
©By ILANA MERCER
June 25, 2003