Monday, September 09, 2002

The Vatican's foreign minister said it was okay to attack Iraq if the United Nations approves the use of force. The pope and the Vatican have acknowledged the right of defense against terrorists, and have made it clear that any "just war" needs to avoid harming innocent people.

But here's where it gets odd. The foreign minister said, "We can't impose the law of the jungle," and "Obviously we can't fight evil with evil." The article doesn't make it clear, but I think he is referring to the United States acting without U.N. approval. I don't understand how these statements apply, if America does not ask for and is granted U.N. "approval."

Saddam Hussein has shown a willingness to use weapons of mass destruction on his own people and to invade his neighbors. Saddam Hussein also has shown an unyielding desire to produce more weapons of mass destruction. This is a genuine threat to America. Period. Any preemptive strike on Iraq is a legitimate defensive attack, since America is already being threatened. I don't understand the connection between acting in defense and "evil," and I don't understand how U.N. approval somehow makes everything "good."

The foreign minister also warned of the consequences on both the Iraqi population and stability in the region. Let's remember reality for a moment here. Saddam Hussein has been starving and killing his people for three decades. If an American military attack kills 2000 Iraqi civilians, relatively speaking that would be a good month for the people of Iraq. Plus, when the attack is complete, Iraqis will stop dying by the thousands. As for "stability in the region," I should probably expect the Vatican to defend the undemocratic status quo in the Middle East. Again, someone please explain to me how tyrants who fund terrorists and Islamic extremism are good for stability.