Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
February 4, 2004
WAR: Why War In Iraq?

I made this comment over at Roger Simon's site, but it bears repeating here because this issue keeps coming up. In the course of addressing a broader point, Simon said

"there were always two major arguments for War in Iraq-the moral one (Saddam was a mass murdering dictator) and the "practical" one (the "imminent"... or not) WMD threat."

This is a common formulation, but it's a false choice, and one that liberals enamored of the humanitarian argument are too quick to point to. There were, in fact, several other arguments. To name five: (1) Strategic: replacing tyranny with democracy in Iraq puts pressure on other Arab & Muslim states to reform. (2) Tactical: taking out Saddam removes a country where we couldn't track the flow of terrorists and weapons, thus increasing our ability to use our law enforcement and intelligence apparatuses, and also puts our troops on the borders of other notorious offenders. (3) Making an Example: Knocking off our most prominent enemy, a guy whose media celebrated Sept. 11, sent a powerful message that we are dead serious about not taking this crap anymore. (4) Legal: Saddam violated UN resolutions that were the conditions of ceasefire. (5) Combatting terror: the strongest argument of all, if controversial on the evidence, looked at Saddam's open support for Palestinian terror, his connections to Abu Nidal and Abu Abbas, and the evidence linking him to Al Qaeda and other groups. Don't let the WMD thing distract you from the fact that supporting terrorism is bad whether you have WMD or not.

For just a sampling of commentary on this point, see my pre-war comments here and here and see Steven den Beste, Armed Liberal, Jonah Goldberg, Mark Steyn, Qando, and NZ Bear's pre-war roundup.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 7:09 AM | War 2004 | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Wrong on several counts. The case for war in the UK was clear and unambiguous.
'Recognises that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and long range missiles, and its continuing non-compliance with Security Council Resolutions pose a threat to international peace and security'

We now know this not to be true. Non compliance with UN security council resolutions is not a case for war.

Posted by: ExpatEgghead at February 4, 2004 8:16 AM

Sorry, Expat, but noncompliance with UN resolutions was and is the legal basis for the war.

Posted by: Voxxy at February 4, 2004 8:49 AM

Good reasons with faulty logic in that they disregard the chance of occurance. More specifically:

1) Strategic - Democracy is nice, tyranny is bad, but a Shiite gov't running a non-secular country just makes Iraq another Iran. Last I checked, Iran wasn't looked upon too favorably.

2) Tactical - See #1. Plus the likelihood of our actually being able to keep a credible and effective military presence in Iraq. Rummy was wrong in the way he planned the war short the manpower....too bad he was only trying to make the best of the resources available to him. We don't have enough men.

3) Making an Example - Yes, we've shown we don't have enough manpower...and with our idea of a "coalition" we're close to prooving a lack of legitimacy as well. Some example. North Korea is shaking in their boots.

4) Legal - We have a winner! I'm surprised the administration didn't stress this more.

5) Combatting terror - Its legitimate, but without WMD, and without smoking guns tying Iraq with Al Queda, we look awfully silly putting the lion's share of our resources into Iraq. Starving Al Queda of funds, finding Bin Laden, building credible support globally in ferreting out terrorists were the appropriate moves....instead we blew our wad on Iraq..

Posted by: C Giddy at February 4, 2004 10:52 AM
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