James Leroy Wilson's blog

Monday, February 26, 2007

Reasons to Oppose the War in Iraq

Too often, the debate surrounding the Iraq War revolve aroud only parts of the issue, such as the absence of WMD's, or Bush's incompetence. What's disappointing about this is that it assumes a "given," that the USA has a right to overthrow governments that do develop WMD's. This is not the case. Here are some valid reasons for having opposed the War on Iraq four years ago. The WMD question is just a small part of it. I was not blogging four years ago, but let's pretend I'm writing this in early March, 2003:

1. Even if Saddam is developing WMD's, it is preposterous to assert that this secular dictator would hand them over to jihadists to detonate on the U.S. mainland.

2. Even if Saddam is developing WMD's, the only "threat" that poses is to Israel - but not to its security, only to its hegemony. And Israel has its own nuclear deterrent. Israel is a big boy and can take care of himself.

3. If Iraq does have WMD's, so what? Does a country not have the right to defend itself through deterrence? What's a greater deterrent than nuclear weapons? If we have them, why can't other countries?

4. Alas, there is no evidence that Saddam has WMD's anyway.

5. Saddam is already severely handicapped and contained by harsh sanctions, an enforced "no-fly zone" and a ten-year bombing campaign. He is certainly not an "imminent threat" or a "clear and present danger" to the U.S. Even if the U.S. won't establish normal relations with Iraq, it is certainly safer and easier to maintain the status quo and wait him out. That's what we do with Castro.

6. Despite Iraq's weakened condition, Saddam keeps order. How was it in America's interests to destabilize this situation?

7. Saddam may be judged harshly for slaughtering political opponents and separatist groups, but this is by no means unusual for dictators of ethnically and religiously diverse countries. As the Somalia headache goes to show, holding a country together and maintain a functioning government is preferable to anarchy - at least in the eyes of the international community.

8. Despite Iraq's weakened condition, Saddam's presence maintained a balance of power in the region that checks Iran.

9. Iraq isn't a threat to the United States. It is thousands of miles away and its armed forces were very weak.

10. The best policy to guarantee low oil prices is peace, not war.

11. Even if this isn't the case, oil interests shouldn't dictate American policy. If the Middle East devolved into chaos and leading to higher oil prices, the market would adjust with greater incentives for conservation and alternative fuels - which can only be a good thing.

12. According to the Constitution, Congress must declare war before a President can execute it; it can not merely "authorize" the President to start a war at his discretion.

13. It is obvious that in terms of Bush's intent, Iraq has nothing to do with the "War on Terror."

14. And Saddam has no terror ties anyway.

15. It is foolhardy at best to expect to establish a liberal democracy in a country with neither liberal nor democratic traditions.

16. To impose liberal democracy by force is a contradiction of liberal democratic ideals. Ideological crusades are even less justifiable than religious crusades.

17. It makes no sense to enforce the UN's resolutions without the UN's consent or will.

Several, not all, of these arguments can be used today to a) withdraw from Iraq immediately and b) oppose a war on Iran.

No comments:

Post a Comment