October 25, 2004

Why we must win the War in Iraq

Ace has a great essay. Here is a teaser:

I cannot recognize the position of Andrew Sullivan, and John Kerry, as legimiate or honorable. Their shared position is unserious, highly partisan, and morally obscene. Those who would urge the nation into a war, or vote the nation into war, without contemplating the possible difficulties and pain of the struggle are cowards-- and worse than cowards. A man who would send another man to his death for a cause he does not think is important is a villain. [empahsis mine] What else can one call it?
That about sums up my feelings toward John Kerry. Assuming that John Kerry's nuanced position on the war in Iraq is coherent (which I doubt) then he is worse than a flip-flopper--he is morally bankrupt. He supported a war in which he knew Americans would die, and now argues that this war was a mistake. In his view, American soldiers who have died have done so in vain. The sacrifice of so many thus deprived of any greater meaning. There is something worse than losing a son or daughter in war--losing a son or daughter in a war that is not for a great and noble cause.

Can someone tell me why the war would have been moral had the UN agreed to back it? Either fighting in Iraq was good or bad. The morality of the action is independent of popularity. And please don't start with the legality argument. Legality and morality are not equivalent.

Can someone give me the material support cost-benefit formula Kerry would have used to determine this war's morality? Either fighting in Iraq was good or bad. The morality of the action does not depend on material support from allies. Kerry seems to think of war in mathematical terms. If the sum of X number of allies giving Y amount of material aid is greater than Z amount-- then W war is justified. [ W if X(Y) +X²(Y²) + X³(Y³)....>Z ]

I could go on and on, but Ace has reminded me once-again of the utter immorality of John Kerry's position.

Was Great Brittain's entry into WWII wrong simply because it had few allies? Was Great Brittain's entry into WWII wrong because the British Empire had not been attacked by Germany? Was Great Brittain's entry into WWII moral simply because it was defending a fellow member of the League of Nations? Had Poland not been a member, than perhaps the war would have been less moral? Would Great Brittain's entry into WWII been any less moral had they known that 326,000 British soldiers would die? Was WWII immoral because of the atrocities committed by Allied troops? Was WWII wrong because 3.8 million German civilians died?

All of the above questions seem like they have fairly self-evident answers, but I am amazed at how many frequent visitors here argue exactly the above--most of whom would not hesitate to defend WWII as 'the good war'.

They argue:

That the war is wrong because of few too allies--ignoring that the British valiantly fought the Nazis while the rest of the world looked the other way.

That the war is wrong because the US was not directly attacked by Iraq--ignoring that it was the Poles who were attacked by Germany and not the British.

That the war is wrong because Iraq had not attacked another country--ignoring the fact that Iraq had done just that (twice) and that an ongoing low-level war with Iraq had continued since their invasion of Kuwait. Hitler violated the Treaty of Versailles with impunity. Had Chamberlain invaded Germany for it's repeat violations of the earlier treaty would those actions have been immoral?

That the war is wrong because too many people are dying. In WWII 61 million people died. Let me repeat that for the hard of hearing: 61 MILLION PEOPLE DIED IN WWII.

That the war is wrong because of Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, alleged civil rights abuses in the US, or the various murders committed by US soldiers in Iraq. As if somehow WWII would have more or less justified had the US not interned Americans of Japanese ancestry. As if somehow WWII would have been more or less justified had occupation forces not murdered suspected Wafen-SS members without giving them a trial. As if somehow WWII would have been more or less justified had Allied forces not summarily executed those caught behind our lines committing acts of sabatoge.

That the war is wrong because so many civillians have died. As if the firebombing of Dresden somehow nullified the morality of the entire Allied effort. Or that Hiroshima and Nagasaki are moral blemishes of such dire consequence that America would have been better off not fighting Imperial Japan.

All of the above are primae facie poor arguments. And the argument that the war would be moral if only things were done differently is simply idiotic. As if the way the war started really matters now. As if wars are only worth fighting if you can be assured every battle will be a victory. As if wars are only ok if the crystal ball can predict every potential setback so that no mistakes are made. As if wars are only ok if you can assure that no civillians will be hurt. I got news for you: these are not arguments against this war--they are arguments against war in general. Unless you are a pacifist you can go to hell and take John Kerry with you.

Last rant: The one argument that pisses me off more than any others is the one that goes something like, "Since we were mislead into war than the war is bad." A) We were not misled into war. There was not one single reason to go to war, there were multiple reasons. B) Who the hell cares?

Why did the US join WWII? We were attacked, right? Well, no, but for the sake of brevity I'll concede that. The US entered WWII because we were attacked.

But when you or I think of why every one agrees that WWII was so moral, why is that? Why is it that we can all argue about the morality of the Spanish-American War, or of WWI, or of the Mexican-American War but all of us agree that WWII was the good war? Was it because 'we were attacked'??

What makes WWII the war by which all other wars are compared?

WWII is the 'good war' not because of the way it started. Remember, the British were not attacked and the Germans did not attack us.

WWII is the 'good war' because of the way it ended. The more I read about WWII the more fuzzy the reasons appear for either Great Brittain or the US to have entered that war. Yet, the more I learn about WWII the more convinced I am that that war was indeed moral.

You see, the reason it was moral is that we were the good guys and we were fighting the bad guys. And the reason it was the 'good war' is because the good guys beat the bad guys.

Eisenhower called his military adventure the Crusade in Europe. But Crusade against what? From the evils of Nazism. In Shirer's classic The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich one theme is emphasized over and over again--that the fight with the Nazis was a Civilizational battle. To Shirer, the fight against the Third Reich was that of Western liberalism vs. the Nazi's pagan barbarism.

When we entered WWII we did not do it to stop the holocaust, but the holocaust has become the reason that fighting the Nazis was so moral. When we entered WWII we did not do it to stop the rape of Nanking, but it and the Bataan death march became the reason for destroying the barbarity of Japanese Imperialism.

Each day the reason for entering this war become more and more fuzzy to me--you might even say forgotten. But with each day I learn of another act of depravity done by our enemies. With each day I am reminded of their barbarity. And with each day I am awakened with a renewed sense that this is the right war, in the right place, at the right time--regardless of the reasons that it started.

This is a civilizational battle. This is a crusade of Western liberalism vs. a pagan barbarity that we in the West thought we crushed with Hitler and Tojo. And with the collapse of Soviet Communism the last vestiges of evil were thought to have all but disappeared in the end of history. We were wrong. The evil still lingers, and it is incarnate in Ba'athist nationalism and Islamist fascism.

This war is just because we are the good guys and they are the bad guys. When the good guys are fighting the bad guys, it is an immoral position to say that it's ok to fight--but only if we can be assured of victory. When the good guys are fighting the bad guys, it is an immoral position to say that it's ok to fight, but only if it is popular. When the good guys fight the bad guys you route for the good guys, not bicker over whether or not the good guys should be using a Winchester or a Colt.

We are the good guys and the forces of evil are pitted against us. We must win this fight.

GO BRONCOS.

(cross-posted at Anticipatory Retaliation)

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 05:01 PM | Comments |