As Steven Den Beste, Arthur Silber, and others have pointed out, war with Iraq is no longer an abstract question. We’ve already threatened Saddam with force, many times and with increasing shrillness, unless he disarms. He’s failed to do so, as everyone acknowledges, even Inspector Magoo and the French. Arthur writes:
But here is the problem that confronts us now: after all the posturing, preparations, and speech-making, especially over the past year, if we were to do nothing now, we might as well hand out engraved invitations to terrorists to come and attack us again. Paper tiger wouldn’t even begin to describe the problem. We might as well be defenseless — because, in effect, we would have rendered ourselves defenseless.
One could describe this policy as unilateral moral disarmament.
Opponents of the war continue to argue in a vacuum, as though we have not promised to disarm Saddam by any means necessary. It’s certainly possible to argue that we shouldn’t have made any such promise. What I’d like to see is an argument that, having promised to disarm him, we should then proceed not to do so. Just asking, is all.