November 15, 2005
The Killer Arg
Apologies in advance; I can only post my own speculation and opinion here, sans any supportive links. You just gotta take my word for it!
On this increasingly infantile argument by the Democrats that "Bush lied us into the war" because he said Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, and we supposedly "failed to find any WMD" -- the killer argument here doesn't even need evidence.
Every explosive in Saddam Hussein's arsenal was a "weapon of mass destruction." Every artillery shell, every rocket, every missile of whatever range; each could be used -- and had been used in the past -- to butcher masses of innocent people. I don't know who first said it, but it's again so obvious it needs no specific citation: Hussein was himself a weapon of mass destruction.
So we thought it was "two minutes to midnight" when we attacked him, and it turned out to be maybe twenty minutes to midnight. He wasn't as far along as we thought in developing the really nasty stuff... chemical weapons, biological weapons, nukes. So the hell what? How does this affect the moral question?
Ramsey Clark, former LBJ attorney general and current pain-in-the-neck traitor to the United States, makes the absurd argument that when America fights a war, and the casualty ratio is lopsidedly in our favor, that constittutes a war crime; we have to suffer and bleed just as much as the enemy, or we're morally guilty. Take my word for it; this is pretty much the definitional example of being "stuck on stupid," in Lt. Gen. Russel Honore's memorable phrase. I prefer the tack taken by Gen. George S. Patton, in the words of Francis Ford Copolla's screenplay to the movie Patton: "No poor bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country."
Broaden it out: it means you take your advantages where you find them. We had no obligation to wait until Hussein was just about to deploy Anthrax and VX rockets, just so we didn't have too great an advantage. The morality of a war isn't determined by how many casualties you suffer: the war is either righteous or it is wrong; it is either worth the risk or it is not; and we have a moral obligation to our soldiers to reduce the risk as far as we possibly can... yes, even by attacking before politely giving the enemy time to kill more American soldiers.
So long as we labored under the delusion that nobody was targeting the United States especially, we could get away with ignoring Hussein: he shot at our planes, we took out his fire-control radar.
But 9/11 changed everything. It became as obvious as the smirk on Howard Dean's lips that we were targetted, that Osama bin Laden was deadly serious when he publicly declared war on us some years ago. And that meant the rules had changed: by the basic law of war, we had the right to defend ourselves, including taking pre-emptive action (which Iraq was not, by the way) against allies of our enemy who posed a specific and credible threat to America or her interests.
The existence of WMDs was irrelevant to the larger moral question; it was just a way to explain the situation to people at the U.N. who don't understand moral arguments, having long since abandoned the belief in right and wrong. What mattered was the intent... and even the Democrats (even today!) admit that Hussein intended to develop any chemical, biological, or nuclear weapon he could. No "lie," no "manipulation," no trick: Hussein had the intent and the means, he had the al-Qaeda contacts and the hatred, he was rolling in petrodollars, and "his brain was squirming like a toad."
Maybe he hid them; maybe he was just trying to develop them. Who the hell cares?
Saddam Hussein became a dead man walking the moment the second plane plowed into the second tower. He should have picked better friends.
He could no longer be coddled; he could no longer be tolerated; like John Dillinger, he was too wild to live. We had a moral obligation to America and to the rest of the free world to take the bastard out. Since we're humane folks, we decided to invade and put our own troops at risk, rather than bomb Iraq into rubble and then bounce the rubble, killing hundreds of thousands of relatively innocent civilians. But that was just us being nice.
We suddenly realized Hussein posed an existential threat to the America we grew up in... therefore, after we took care of the Taliban, we moved his name to the top of the list. We attacked at the end of March 2003, and he was ousted a few weeks later.
All else is dicta.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, November 15, 2005, at the time of 11:18 PM
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