Conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg examinedthe recent letter from the US bishops on war with Iraq. While he respects their moral voice in saying it is difficult to justify attacking Iraq because there is no evidence of an imminent attack, he says they labor under some misconceptions.
Quoting the bishops:
- “We have no illusions about the behavior or intentions of the Iraqi government. The Iraqi leadership must cease its internal repression, end its threats to its neighbors, stop any support for terrorism, abandon its efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction and destroy all such existing weapons.”
And Goldberg’s reply:
Saddam has invaded two countries, and not a single student of the dictator thinks he’d hesitate to do it again if he could get away with it. And, the only way he can get away with it is to get a nuclear bomb that would make a Desert Storm-style American intervention next to impossible.
By the time the bishops get their “evidence of an imminent attack of a grave nature,” it will be too late to stop such an attack. Sanctions, inspections, negotiations and forceful letters from American clergy didn’t deter Saddam before, and, judging from this letter, they aren’t any more likely to deter him now.
The bishops are under the illusion that Saddam can be talked out of being Saddam. The Iraqis don’t suffer from that illusion.
I agree. As Archbishop Hannan observed last week, evil dictators are not often deterred from action by moral reasoning. And in a nuclear age, waiting until the missile is in the air is too late to decide to act. Even waiting until the missile is built is too late. The fact that someone as evil as Saddam who has publicly threatened America and others and has proven that he will attack others and that he will use weapons of mass destruction should be enough to prove imminent danger.