I know many others have already mentioned this, but Fr. Richard Neuhaus’ comments on the coming war with Iraq are well-reasoned, reasonable, and a breath of fresh air. He sees the UN for what it is: an institution that is generally hostile to the Church and the US and not the last word in international authority some make it out to be.
He also rightly dismisses those who speak of American inexperience and “cowboy” impetuosity, pointing out that over the last century, the US has done more to improve the world—including fighting for freedom, providing humanitarian aid, fostering economic development that brings about higher living standards, and securing some form of world order—than any other country in the world.
Most importantly, he dismisses common misconceptions about Just War theory, so-called “pre-emptive” war, and prudential judgment about when to go to war.
Frequent reference to preventive or pre-emptive use of military force, and even to “wars of choice,” have only confused the present discussion.
War, if it is just, is not an option chosen but a duty imposed. In the present circumstance, military action against Iraq by a coalition of the willing is in response to Iraq’s aggression; first against Kuwait, then in defiance of the terms of surrender demanding its disarmament, then in support of, if not direct participation in, acts of terrorism.
This is joined to its brutal aggression against its own citizens, and its possession of weapons of mass destruction which it can use or permit others to use for further aggression.
To wait until the worst happens is to wait too long, and leaders guilty of such negligence would rightly be held morally accountable.
Well said, and concisely. Nothing more to add here. I just don’t understand how others don’t see it.