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January 27, 2003

Blix Report- This Justifies War?

You read the basic evidence from the Blix UN report and you have to step back and say, How can this justify war?

That Hussein is playing some games with inspections, even hiding some weapons, is hardly surprising. And hardly unique in a world where countries ranging from South Africa to Israel to India to Pakistan (all of them US allies) developed nuclear weapons in secret defiance of international law.

According to the UN report, there is now no evidence of nuclear weapons and no "smoking gun" for chemical and biological weapons. And inspectors are being allowed freely to access all weapons sites.

Saddam Hussein is a bad guy. But there is no evidence that he is doing anything nasty internationally to justify "preemptive" war.

Now, if we are going to create a new international order of overthrowing bad governments for the sake of their people and for democracy, I could theoretically support that. But Iraq is hardly the only dictatorship that principle applies to.

In fact, one dictatorship oppressing the majority of its population is, well, Kuwait, which allows a tiny plutocracy to undemocratically exploit a larger population of workers given no voting rights and little share in the plenty of that country. Iraq invaded Kuwait on the argument that he was liberating that country.

But the United States and the United Nations declared that such unilateral invasion was unjustified, and the Gulf War was fought on that basis.

So if we fought the last Gulf War against the principle of unilateral invasion, it seems incredible that we could even talk about a second Gulf War on the reverse principle.

Luckily, the American people, unlike the Bush administration, has consistent principles. They are demanding United Nations consensus before any action is taken. And they are increasingly opposing Bush's overall foreign policy as wrongheaded.

The Iraqi people deserve support in promoting democracy in their country. As do those disenfranchised in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and other countries around the world. That is a principle worth supporting, but killing the people you seek to help hardly makes sense.

Posted by Nathan at January 27, 2003 04:33 PM

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