October 22, 2002

War against Iraq is unjust

When I began to think about the war that President Bush seems to be forcing on the country, I started to think of reasons not to go to war with Iraq. This was my own stupidity; because war is such a terrible situation, we must first ask the question: why should we go to war with Iraq? And what I've found out is that there aren't sufficient reasons to go to war at all. President Bush certainly hasn't given us any coherent ones, and when you dig through all of his ridiculous rhetoric, what's left is a lot of nothing.

Article 51 of the United Nations Charter dictates that a country does indeed have a right to self-defense. But the devil is in the details; Article 51 also says that that right exists only "if an armed attack occurs." One can only defend against something that occurs, and clearly Iraq has never attacked the United States. Thus, the argument that the U.S. must defend itself is clearly fallacious.

What about the war on terrorism? I hate al Qaeda too, but as George Tenet testified before Congress, there is simply no evidence of any ties between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda. Even given the pressure we're putting on Hussein, it's still unlikely that he would develop or maintain any such ties because of the serious religious differences between his regime and al Qaeda.

Saddam Hussein did, in fact, use biological weapons in his war with Iran in the 1980s. Sadly enough, at the very same time, the U.S. dropped Iraq from its list of states supporting terrorism so we could legally fund part of the same war and sell Hussein weapons. Of course, Iraq's support for Abu Nidal, which is what got them on the list in the first place, didn't decrease at all; we just looked the other way because it was in our interest to do so. That seems like a terrible double standard, and its certainly no justification for war.

Saddam Hussein is clearly in violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions, so that's seemingly a good reason. Well, wait, a lot of countries are in violation of the same resolutions, including some that receive a great deal of economic assistance from the United States. The point here is that if we take that to be a serious reason for war, we should be talking about war against all the countries in violation of Security Council resolutions. We certainly aren't doing that. Furthermore, it's not for the US to decide which violations to enforce and which to simply look the other way on; that's a matter for the Security Council, and believe it or not, it's not just composed of the United States.

And maybe that's really the problem. The Bush administration wants the populace to simply look the other way while hundreds of billions of dollars ($200 billion, at least) are spent on killing; look the other way while Americans are sent to die for a cause that's unjust and unrealistic; look the other way while the Bush administration just runs the country how they see fit. That's not what this country is all about, and it's unacceptable. Maybe the leaders of the government have some secret evidence, but before they commit the citizens of this country to war and sign the death sentences of thousands of civilians in Iraq, I want to be damn sure of why they are doing it.