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Friday, March 28, 2003

In support of an unjust war.

Michael Walzer, editor of Dissent, says that the war in Iraq is unjust, but he won't be marching against it. Why? Because it matters who wins. And Saddam Hussein's war isn't just, either:

He is not defending his country against a conquering army; he is defending his regime, which, given its record of aggression abroad and brutal repression at home, has no moral legitimacy; and he is resisting the disarmament of his regime, which was ordered (though not enforced) by the United Nations. This is a war that he could have avoided simply by meeting the demands of the UN inspectors-or, at the end, by accepting exile for the good of his country. Admittedly, self-defense is the paradigmatic case of just war, but the "self" in question is supposed to be a collective self, not a single person or a tyrannical clique seeking desperately to hold on to power, at whatever cost to ordinary people.

Walzer adds: "My argument with the anti-war demonstrators hangs on the relative justice of two possible endings: an American victory or anything short of that, which Saddam could call a victory for himself." But liberals do have important goals to pursue as vigorously as possible: the just conduct of the war — avoiding civilian casualties wherever possible and providing intensive humanitarian relief — and the just outcome of the war — "a government of, by, and for the Iraqi people."

Update. Why should liberals be focused on the aftermath of the war? Consider Franklin Graham and his army of Christian relief workers, poised and ready to bring humanitarian assistance — and the gospel. Folks, thisis something to stop dead in its tracks. Now.

Copyright © 2003 by Philocrites | Posted 28 March 2003 at 10:55 AM

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