Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Defending the War in Iraq

Below is my final exchange with a Blogger about the legality of the war in Iraq. It started by my commenting on Noam Chomsky's take on the UN.

Blogger: http://sabbah.biz/mt/archives/2007/11/25/do-the-democrats-have-a-different-answer-on-iran/


"Until the mischief be grown general, and the evil designs of the RULERS become visible, the people, who are MORE disposed to SUFFER than to right themselves by resistance are not apt to stir." - Locke [emphasis mine]

"But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same course, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their RIGHT, it is their DUTY to throw off such government, and to provide NEW guards for their future safety." - Declaration of Independence [emphasis mine]

When Iraq did not avail themselves of their rights or perform their duty to remove Saddam Hussein and when failing to do so became a destabilizing force of attrition and uncertainty to the region it became the right and duty of other nations to confront that destabilization of attrition and uncertainty. Confrontation that, in the scope of historical conflict, is neither unjust nor unnecessarily brutal. The concept of bloodless war and effortless freedom is a new concept not supported by history or "Common Sense".

Evidence of this bloodless concept is the abandonment of Iraq by its citizens of means. The drain of professionals whose education and skills was sorely needed only served to prolong the suffering of those who chose to stay or had no choice but to stay. Further evidence is the depiction of US troops as indiscriminant in their war-fighting. By any fair and unbiased measure of the whole the US military has shown unprecedented restraint -possibly to the detriment of the mission.

Kofi Annan on the Responsibility to Protect –

"This responsibility lies, first and foremost, with each individual State, whose primary raison d’ĂȘtre and duty is to protect its population. But if national authorities are unable or unwilling to protect their citizens, then the responsibility shifts to the international community..."

What happens when the apparatus of the UN, the Security Council that he later describes, also fails? Like in the Balkans? Or Rwanda? Or Darfur? And when diplomacy is a circular game rather than a useful tool? Then does serving the Purposes and Principles of the UN require stepping outside its framework? What is the higher priority? Certainly not the procedure, but rather the Purpose and Principle.

Can a good argument be made that the Iraq war is itself more destabilizing than Saddam? Yes, but that argument must rely on short sighted and outmoded concepts that don’t take into consideration our global interconnectedness or the historical benefit of liberty and democracy -benefits that take generations to fully realize.

Has the Iraq war been prosecuted well? Obviously not. There have been too many mistakes that continue to cost thousands of Iraqi lives and hundreds of US and Coalition lives. Do these mistakes constitute negligence? I am open to that, but don’t at this time think so.

Therefore, to say that the Iraq war is “illegal” or to use the word “occupation” in a pejorative way is to avoid the facts. Facts supported by modern and historical notions of the rights of man and the obligations of government.

1 comment:

Sandi McBride said...

Unfortunately, the Iraq war falls into that "the best of good intentions paves the road to hell".