War on Iraq, pro and con

Writing at Tech Central Station, former Reaganite arms control expert Kenneth Adelman is concerned that President Bush, by failing to follow through on the clear anti-terrorism principles he laid out earlier this year, has allowed a policy vacuum to develop which has given Democratic and Republican dissidents the opportunity to take the initiative in the war debate. Adelman is particularly appalled at former National Security Advisor Brent Snowcroft’s argument in the Wall Street Journal that Saddam Hussein has no ties to terrorists—Adelman lists them, including Iraq’s likely involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center attack—and that we should not make war on Iraq until Hussein actually has a nuclear bomb in hand. “Even a non-foreign policy wonk could grasp that it’s smarter—and far safer—to free Iraq before the world’s most destructive ruler acquires the world’s most destructive weapon.”

If some of our readers are displeased at seeing the arguments of a neocon approvingly quoted at this site, I wonder how they will feel about the opposing opinions expressed by former U.N. Assistant Secretary-General and former U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq Denis Halliday (a national of Ireland, I’ve since discovered), who told Bill Moyers on his Friday night program that the U.S. should not wage war against Iraq for the following reasons: the U.S. sided with Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war (wait—given the fact that this same argument was already irrelevant in 1990-91, isn’t it even more irrelevant now?); that Iraq’s neighbor’s don’t want the U.S. to fight Iraq (but those countries are not the likely targets of weapons of mass destruction; why should we let their opinions determine what we do in our vital national interest?); and that Iraqi civilians will be killed in a war (yes, that what’s happens in a war, but the numbers of civilian casualties in recent U.S. wars including the Gulf War and the Afghanistan war, and even our criminal war on Serbia, were astonishingly low). When asked by Moyers what the President of the United States should do about the prospect of Iraq possessing nuclear weapons that it may use against America, Halliday simply ignored the immediate threat that this whole debate is about, replying instead that the United Nations should end the sanctions regime, which, he said, would bring about a middle-class resurgence in Iraq, which would bring about a return of democracy, which would result in the fall of Hussein. When Moyers again pressed Halliday on what the U.S. should do about the threat of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, he answered: “I go back to my position, let the people of Iraq decide.”

Could anything be more ineffably stupid than Halliday’s liberal attitude of “Let’s get ourselves out of the way so that others can make their own choices”—an idea which sounds so superior and enlightened, but which is so utterly, irredeemably inapt to the situation at hand? That this arrogant dribble, unworthy of a college sophomore, is coming from a former high official of the United Nations, says more than one wanted to know about the quality of current international elites.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 24, 2002 10:02 AM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):