Bizarre anti-invasion arguments
Posted by aogSaturday, 17 May 2003 at 23:38
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Lots of interesting comments over at Samizdata
. The comments evolved into a long discussion on various sides about whether the invasion of Iraq was justified. While some of the anti-invasion arguments are reasonable, there are several bizarre ones that I can't resist ripping.
- The war wasn't constitutional
- The most bizarre variant of this claims that only wars for the "safety" of the American citizenry are constitutional. I've checked my copy of the US Constitution and I just don't see that clause. As far as I can tell, Congressional approval is all that is required and there is simply no discussion or limitation on why Congress might do that. The more rational argument is that there was no "declaration of war". However, that's just playing syntax games. The act passed by both houses of Congress authorizing President Bush to use military means to force the Ba'ath to comply is completely sufficient to satisfy Constitutional requirements and this was clearly understood at the time.
- Nobody care about Iraq before the 11 Sep attacks
- Then where did all of those sanctions come from? The UN resolutions explicitly mention Ba'ath oppression and required its cessation. So somebody care from at least 1991 onward. I've also located statements by Richard Perle on behalf of then Governor Bush concerning saying the Bush had "a view to bringing down Saddam's regime". This was in the context of the Iraq Liberation Act(which was passed in 1998, a time that as far as I can tell was before 11 Sep 2001). But this is a reasonably clear statement that Bush was on record as gunning for Saddam Hussein even before he was elected President.
- Why Iraq and not [Cuba/North Korea/Zimbabwe]?
- This strikes me as odd. I don't recall seeing any protests arguing for war, all of them were against war in general and so this argument is clearly a hollow one. But it made me think – suppose it was just the custom that every presidential term, the President would pick just one oppressive dictatorship and take it out. At random. Not only would the world be rid of that dictatorship, but it would likely have a salutary effect on all the others.
I have lost the link but one of the best posts on this subject laid out 5 or 6 reasons for invading Iraq and noted that none was a good enough reason, but all of them together were. It's really not that hard to come up with a short list of reasonabl criteria that puts Iraq at the top of the list. The bottom line is that in terms of advancing US interests in the world, invading Iraq was the most bang for the buck choice.