James Leroy Wilson's one-man magazine.

Monday, October 17, 2005

The Divide

Breaking down divisions between the pro-war and anti-war sides, I think it all comes down to four issues:

1. Ethical: Do Americans have a duty to protect the human rights of other people?
2. Historical: Were the enemies the U.S. have warred against in our history really threats to our borders, government, liberty, and way of life?
3. Legal: Does the President's role as "commander in chief" empower him to use the threat of force as a diplomatic tool? Does Congress's power to declare war imply the power to delegate the power that power to the President?
4. Prudential: Do the benefits of the war outweigh the costs? Was this evident before the war commenced?

1 comment:

  1. I would expand item #1 to include "respect the human rights" of others by not gratuitously bombing them and such.

    Item 2 usually comes up as part of an exercise of assessing costs and benefits or in the wake of a "you wouldn't have let Hitler slide, would you" comment. (I might have since I do not view the defeat of Hitler and the gift of half of Europe to Stalin as much of a victory.)

    Item 3 doesn't come up much in my circle since we are usually arguing over the war itself and not who authorized it. Presidential war powers are a gross usurpation, but Congress has acquiesced in this.

    Item 4 is problematic in that costs are always understated and putative benefits are often abstract.