The gravity of such a decision makes it subject to rigorous conditions of moral legitimacy.
At one and the same time:
the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;
WTC of NYC down, 4 airplanes down, 3000 people dead. "lasting, grave, and certain" - check.
Some will quibble that we don't have proof that Iraq (Saddam) were directly involved in this particular attack. That's not necessary. They did train al-Qaeda in Iraq, and still harbor them there. They are giving aid and comfort to our enemies. This is in addition to having WMD, a history of using them, and a hatred of US. Evidence: attempted assassination of President GHW Bush.
all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;
Check. Ten years of sanctions, no fly zones, and inspections have been used by Iraq to barter their food money for weapons, kick out inspectors, and build their WMD. The appeal to the UN and to Iraq by President Bush to immediately fulfill its obligations to the UN was their last chance. They have blown it.
there must be serious prospects of success;
Check. I don't think there are too many who doubt the US chances of success. Key will be focusing on destroying WMD rather than occupying territory. Ron Paul did not have much doubt about our success. The nightmare scenario of fighting from block to block in Bagdad can be avoided by simply surrounding the city and let the people surrender block by block in exchange for food.
the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modem means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.
The US war in Afghanistan showed the most accurate use of ordinance in history. Iraq has superior conditions (more military targets) to Afghanistan.
These are the traditional elements enumerated in what is called the 'JUST WAR' doctrine.
The evaluation of these conditions for moral legitimacy belongs to the prudential judgment of those who have responsibility for the common good."
That would be our President, Mr. GW Bush. He has shown great prudence so far.
Askel, is this the kind of reply you wanted? I was really disappointed in hearing the famous Mr. Paul. He was either irrational, or operating from a wholly different fact base than I do.
They are giving aid and comfort to our enemies.
Good point. In the current issue of Arab-Asian Affairs (edited by Christopher Story, publisher of "Perestroika Deception", "New Lies For Old", "Red Cocaine" and "The European Collective"), he addresses just this prong of the new 33-page policy statement on "preemptive strikes" penned by Ms. Rice:
[the policy states] that "we will not hesitate to act along, if necessary, to exercise our right of self-defense by acting pre-emptively."
Terrorism would be fought by "convincing or compelling states to accept their sovereign responsibilities."
However, the document had nothing at all to say about the consistency of this freewheeling policy. What about Cuba, on the territory of which the KGB first began training international terrorists outside Europe in 1966? What about Ireland, which has callously harboured the IRA and its controlled splinter groups of terror-revolutionaries for three decades, knowingly allowing the Soviet GRU controllers of the IRA to use Shannon airport as their uninspected drop shipment center for weaponry and personnel?
And what about exerting pressure on Tony Blair, the British Prime Minister, himself, given his Government's "politically correct" and laid-back attitude towards the intolerable presence of Islamic centers where terrorism is glorified and revolutionaries are trained? The new "line" is riddled with inconsistencies and hypocrisy (of which Mr. Blair does not have a complete monopoly in this context).
I think those are excellent "for starters" questions. The true measure of any man's integrity is his ability to CONSISTENTLY defend and act in comport with his convictions.
Are we to apply this new policy consistently? Will respect the rights of other nations to adopt our "moral" stand?