Thursday, June 16, 2005

The Iraq War

How can you justify the US going to war in Iraq?

One argument that I hear again and again is this:
"There isn't a country called 'Al Qaedia'"... as if to say that we went to war in Iraq because of Al Qaeda.

The Bush administration tried so desperately to make it seem like there was a strong link between Al Qaeda and Saddam-- however this connection turned out to be, at best, very flimsy-- the connection that they found was that Al Zarqawi (a member of Al Qaeda) had been treated in an Iraqi hospital after he was wounded in Afghanistan-- which basically just goes to show that somebody in Al Qaeda had been to Iraq... which seems to me to be a much weaker link than the link between Saudi Arabia and Al Qaeda (considering 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were from Saudi Arabia). Even the Bush administration has given up on touting this supposed connection.

So since there was no strong connection with Al Qaeda how is this war just?

The typical answer I hear is:
"A bad man is out of power and Iraqis are better off now than they were when Saddam was in power."

Here is a scenario to show why the above argument fails to justify the war:
Suppose we were told by our president that a fascist leader was slaughtering his own people and that we needed to go to war immediately to save their lives. So we give the president the power to go to war-- he immediately sends troops to that country to stop the killing. Our troops show up, we dismantle the goverment and then we realize we screwed up... there was actually no killing going on...

At that very instant there is no possible way for the war to be just. It doesn't matter what good we end up doing for that country-- It doesn't matter what past acts that leader may have done-- the war cannot be justified. The justification for going to war was wrong AND you can't change your justification for doing something after you've already done it. However, our president has done just that-- instead of admitting he was wrong and instead of apologizing to the thousands of American and Iraqi families who have lost friends and family members he justifies this war by saying "We're bringing freedom to this country"and he continually holds that he did the "right" thing-- and the majority of Americans (as shown by our election) are perfectly fine with the decisions he made. However, I don't believe for a second that congress would have given the president the power to go to war if he had said "The main reason we need to go to war is because we need to bring democracy to Iraq"... it just doesn't contain any scare-tactics that this administration has found to work so very nicely (except on social security).

It is just so horrible that two of my buddies from high school are in Iraq now putting their lives in danger because the current administraion, at the very least, screwed up in going to war. War should have been the last option-- and it wasn't-- if it was, we would have waited until we knew for sure that our reason for going to war was sound.

The argument I often hear to that is:
"If we had waited then it could have been too late and we could have had another 9/11"

An analogy to show why that argument doesn't justify the war:
Suppose you were to hear that somebody that you hate (for justifiable reasons) might have a gun that they might give to somebody that might try to use that gun against you or your family... and in response to this you blow-up the house of the guy you hate.

If this war was a justifiable Self-Defense war (which it must be in order for it to be a just preemptive war) it should follow closely to what our country considers to be "Self Defense". And in the scenario I gave, our courts would never consider an act like that as a self-defense. The "If I had waited bad things could have happened" argument would be laughed out of court. That argument doesn't justify anything.

War should be the very last course of action... our soldiers trust our leaders to only put them in harms way when it is completely necessary. And it seemed to me that this war was definitely not the very last option for our President... and, actually, at times it seemed like it was right at the top of his "to do" list.

Since the beginning of the war in Iraq we've lost 1714 american soldiers-- 47 have died this month. The number of Iraqi civilian deaths caused by military intervention is now up to, at the very least, 22,248 people. The number of WMD's found is now up to a staggering figure of 0.
I really wish we could justify this war.


Blogger ThrO192 said...

Once again, I am a Veteran and I spent a year in the Middle East getting back just before this past Christmas and I agree with you on all of this as well.

I will say that you should multiply the Iraqi deaths by five at a minimum to get closer to the real number. Maybe as high as ten.

I am out of the military now or I would not say that for fear of it getting back to my chain of command.

3:39 PM  

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