Catholic Layman's Justification of the War in Iraq--Part III
The Kerry Catholic authors claim the president's "original pretext" for going to war was the elimination of Iraqi WMDs. They make this out to be the only pretext and that only later did the president use other reasons. Nonsense. There were other reasons, but the WMD was the most compelling and every intelligence agency out there besides our own--including France's and Germany's--were convinced Iraq had WMDs. The president offered other reasons both before and after the war. They included the "importance of democratizing the Middle East", the "positive impact" it would have on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and putting an end to a regime which invaded its neighbors, possessed and used WMDs, supported terrorists, terrorized and murdered its own people, shot at US pilots on a daily basis, planned terrorists attacks on US targets, etc. But even if the rationale seemed to change, so what? Rationales can and do change. Was President Lincoln wrong to change his rationale for fighting the Civil War. It started as an effort to "preserve the union" but Lincoln later resolved to make freedom and individual rights key aspects of the fight. Given the thinking of these authors I guess Lincoln was wrong.
So yes, there appears to be no WMDs and we know this with a good amount of certainty. Would we ever have known for sure if not for the war? I would say that knowing this is a success. As well, the emerging democracy in Iraq and the freedom its people are beginning to enjoy (a free press, propaganda-free schools, scheduled free elections, economic resources used for them and not the regime) because of our efforts and sacrifices are successes. More importantly, the terrorists in Iraq are being pursued there and not New York, Washington, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, London, or Paris. We are safer now and that is a success. Our military members even know this.
As for comparing the reasons for war in Iraq with reasons for a potential war in North Korea, Iran, Sudan, or Saudi Arabia, I do not believe the authors are advocating for a war in these places. Sure, there may be reasons, and just ones at that, for bringing war to these nations, but making an argument against a war by asking why we are not fighting others seems a poor one.