Lest we forget those who DID know better that we might listen to them better next time. From Informed Comment, the blog of Juan Cole, Professor of History at the University of Michigan…
Tuesday, April 30, 2002
It is a mistake to believe that multilateralists accept “rhetoric, promises, and declarations (especially with regard to Iran and Iraq).”
I know of few informed persons who would like to see the Saddam Hussein regime continue in power. I am not, however, the international community, and I am not comfortable with allowing Mssrs. Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz to substitute themselves for it.
The key point is that in the wake of the two World Wars, the first of which cost 8.5 million soldiers’ lives, and the second of which cost 61 million lives altogether, an international community did come into existence. The United Nations Charter, the Security Council, and NATO were all set up as institutions in hopes of introducing some law and order into the jungle of unbridled state sovereignty. The United States is signatory to the UN Charter and to several other instruments of international law.
As a result, the United States may not unilaterally go to war against another state in the absence of a recognized casus belli without betraying the very ideals it championed in 1945…
Related Post (by Raphie Frank)
What Did We Know and When Did We Know It?
Re-posted from Politinotions
Documented civilian deaths from violence as of November 25, 2007:
77,327 – 84,244
Of all rationales for the war, [the policy of preemption], I believe, is far and away the most misguided… if acted upon, it represents a much greater danger to world stability and peace than does Hussein. If preemption is okay for the U.S., then, as the world “leader” doesn’t this implicitly signal to other nations that preemption is a proper and acceptable course of action to follow when confronting an outside threat real or imagined? If we invade Iraq because of what they might do, what then stops India from invading Pakistan? China from invading Taiwan? Russia from invading Georgia? The police from arresting you because you visited a mosque? What kind of Pandora’s Box are we opening here?
March 3 & 7, 2003
Dear Friends & Family,
I don’t usually do this, but I believe in the U.N., I believe in diplomacy over force when possible, and I believe we must act in ways large or small to protect not just the substance but the spirit of our principles. My very small way of acting upon principle is to send out this e-mail and to urge any who receive it to give at least some consideration to reading the forwarded email below and signing the online petition it refers to. For those who do not want to read on, here is the link: [MoveOn.org link no longer active]
For what its worth, here is my take:
While the world community has generally been in agreement that Saddam Hussein is a horrific dictator who must not be allowed to run amuck, they have done little to force compliance with longstanding U.N. Security Resolution mandates. Thus, it is to Bush’s credit that the firm United States stance is finally forcing the issue. Ironically, however, Bush is now poised to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.