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The 2003 invasion of Iraq was justified by our "evidence" that Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction. Never mind this evidence was never presented and any witnesses were never produced. There was never any evidence for Iraq possessing WMDs.
However, the 2nd most popular idea is that it's the United States' moral responsibility to enact justice where we don't perceive any. Let us forget that we enabled Saddam to come to power in the first place. Let us also forget that Saddam enacted his cruelty with weapons and supplies we either paid for or gave him. Instead, let's address the principle of a "Just-War", going to war where we feel morally obligated to step in where we otherwise have not been invited.
I recently heard Sean Hannity toss about the idea that if I could hear my neighbor being raped and brutalized, would I do anything? Well, if I were witness to such a thing then I probably would intervene. However, there's a mountain of difference between that scenario and conflict abroad. The most obvious issue is that these places aren't our neighbors. Mexico and Canada are, that's it.
Another issue is that the "assault" scenario is one of personal choice, because while *I* would go and do my best to save that woman I wouldn't force my neighbors to do so. Governments are not personal, it isn't as if George Bush said that *HE* would go to Iraq and put his life on the line, no, he has to volunteer the lives of those in our military who entrust him with the decisions of war. As such, war should only be about the lives of Americans. If someone desires to help the oppression of another country then they should pack their bags and go help them, but you cannot volunteer the lives of others no matter how Just you think it is.
This is not an easy topic for me, because I'm quite appalled and at times breathless at what's been happening in Darfur. It's genocide, and if America were truly about moral dictation then we would've already been there to save those precious lives, and we would've been in Rwanda as well. We weren't, so don't let politicians and shady talk-show hosts throw misdirection at you in the name of moral fiber.
Hannity used World War II as another example of a Just-War. What he failed to mention or realize is that we did in fact stay out of WWII until we were attacked, despite the pleads of Great Britain. And that was the right decision, as tough as it is to make.
The other flaw in the argument of the neighbor-assault scenario is that the government would first impose sanctions that would only add to our neighbor's issues. We'd dry up her resources and end up hurting and killing her before ever stepping into the door, because we'd cut off her supplies and bomb the house declaring "casualties of war". Just ask the 100,000 dead civilians in Iraq.
The real morality check should be the United States Government deciding to stop interfering with the internal affairs of other nations. Our country puts itself at danger every time we dictate our ways around the world.
part 1: Blowback
part 2: Sanctions
part 3: Just-War
part 4: Preventive War
part 5: Declaration of War
part 6: Torture
part 7: Finances
part 8: CIA
part 9: War on Terror
part 10: War on Terror part 2, Suicide Terrorists
part 11: Conclusion