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Bush the Younger — The Right and Wrong of His Iraqi War

by Vince Page


There is much wrong with the Iraqi war of Bush the Younger. More on this later in the article, but it would not be fair to continue to dwell on the wrong before taking stock of what is right about the president's position vis--vis the United Nations. Constitutionalists across the country have long lamented the fact that national sovereignty is being sacrificed on the altar of the U.N.. We now have a friend in President Bush, although I doubt that he would admit it.

Whether the president realizes it or not, his administration has made the quintessential argument for unilateral military action by a sovereign nation. In less than one term in office, this administration has reduced the United Nations to the lowly stature of the League of Nations. The U.N. is now viewed as an impotent, lifeless body which exists primarily to give representatives from powerless nations a forum in which to ridicule the one country in the world that will protect them and give them foreign aid while listening to their tirades. This is no small feat, and one for which we should be very grateful.

Now comes the difficult part. When fighting a unilateral war, the moral responsibility is ours alone. We must decide for ourselves when war is necessary. What, then, should be our criteria?

Luckily, mankind is blessed with an inherent sense of right and wrong, bestowed upon us by our Creator. Although there are those who try to convince us that various New Age philosophies and ways of living are right, we all know when they are wrong. A good example is the continuing effort, even after September 11th, 2001, to rid our nation of mottos like "In God We Trust" and "One Nation Under God". Our gut tells us that this is wrong. We have been told that on September 11th, more than 90% of the American people prayed for the safety of our nation and for the victims of the terrorists. Surely on that day we were one nation under God. We knew that it was the right thing to do.

So, too, must we use the instincts endowed by our Creator when deciding whether to wage war. The younger crowd today would paraphrase this by saying WWJD — what would Jesus do — and they would be right. Jesus invites us to wage a daily war against Satan, because not doing so would result in a greater evil. Jesus admonishes us to turn the other cheek when we are wronged. This philosophy had its influence in the Old West where shooting someone in the back — someone who turned the other cheek — made one an outcast from society; it resulted in the Boy Scout prohibition against throwing the first punch, and today it keeps us from taking the life of another human being unless our own life is threatened. Even in self-defense, we are only allowed to take as much action as is necessary to defend ourselves, nothing more. We know all these ideals to be right and proper, and we know it because these ideals were bestowed upon us by God.

Let us now apply these principles when deciding whether to wage war, and let's begin with the recent war in Afghanistan. We were attacked first (we did not throw the first punch), the attack was very grave (to do nothing would have resulted in a greater evil), and the enemy boasted that further attacks against America were in the offing (turning the other cheek would have done no good). We responded with enough force to rout the enemy from their hidden bases. Some would argue that we did not respond with enough force, since Osama bin Laden has not yet been brought to justice and since Taliban fighters still hide in the caves of Afghanistan. We did not, however, respond with more force than was necessary.

Now ask yourself, did anyone object to what America did in Afghanistan? Were there protests on American soil or in any other country? Did the United Nations need to vote before America took unilateral action? Did any nation play Monday Morning Quarterback and complain of American actions after the fact? The answer is a resounding NO in all cases. Human beings, endowed by their Creator with an inherent sense of right and wrong, knew that they had witnessed a just war.

Let us now proceed to Bush the Younger's much-coveted Iraqi war. In this case, America has not been attacked by Iraq. In fact, no credible evidence linking Iraq to the attacks of September 11th or to any other attack against America has been established, although the Bush administration has tried very hard to create some sort of convoluted link. In such a war, America would be throwing the first punch. But, the administration argues, America must fight this war to avert a greater evil since Saddam has weapons of mass destruction. The world has noticed, however, that inspectors have found no such weapons. The world saw Colin Powell use artists renderings — not satellite photos — during his speech at the U.N. to describe mobile chemical weapons platforms that we should be concerned about. It was a laughable situation, and embarrassing to most Americans. And finally, America openly and brazenly claims that it will use all the force necessary to depose the current Iraqi leader, who has not once threatened an attack upon America.

Now ask yourself again, is anyone objecting to Bush's war against Iraq? Have there been protests on American soil or in any other country over this planned war? Do most people believe that a United Nations vote is necessary before taking military action against Iraq? If President Bush proceeds with unilateral action against Iraq, will anyone play Monday Morning Quarterback as a consequence? The answer in each case is an overwhelming YES, and the answer is yes because people the world over know that Bush's proposed Iraqi war is an unjust war.

Therefore, if a war is just, a U.N. vote simply isn't necessary. If a war is unjust, a U.N. vote won't make it just. In other words, the U.N. simply isn't required. We must, however, insist upon a declaration of war by the U.S. Congress as required by the Constitution. For far too long, presidents have ignored that section of the Constitution which explicitly states that only Congress has the authority to, "declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water". For far too long, weak Courts and weak Congresses have let strong presidents initiate war on their own, and in some cases have aided and abetted their actions. Neither situation is allowed by the Constitution. A war conducted without a declaration by Congress is illegitimate, and we must not ask the young men and women of our country to fight illegitimate wars.

But what if Congress, or the president or the U.N. intends to fight an unjust war, what are the consequences?

Historically, unjust wars have much graver consequences than the simple abandonment of high and mighty moral principles. In the case of the Bush Iraqi war, the future is not too difficult to foretell, because various nations are openly talking about it.

If Bush wages a pre-emptive war against Iraq, international law will be on Iraq's side, not America's. With America as the unprovoked aggressor, any conventional military action that Iraq wishes to take against America or America's allies will receive the sanction of international law. This is the way international law is written and this happens to be the real reason why Turkey and a few other intelligent nations are asking Americans for a lot of money before becoming embroiled in this war. They know that war reparations will not be legally forthcoming if Iraq attacks them. Bush himself may actually face charges — albeit after he leaves office — for committing war crimes, and this will undoubtedly impact upon his presidential legacy.

Furthermore, other countries are openly discussing the possibility of waging their own pre-emptive wars if America sets the precedent. Japan is talking about striking North Korea. North Korea wants to attack the United States. Egypt is marketing a war against Israel if Arab countries cough up $100 billion, and Communist China fully expects to become the dominant world power in this century. The wheels set in motion by waging an unjust war — with its foundation built upon the shaky philosophy of pre-emption — have the astounding ability to unleash the greater devils of our nature and may in fact lead to World War III.

This is not only possible, it is probable. Once the theory of pre-emption takes root, it will grow. Nation will attack nation without just cause. Alliances formed in the distant past will bring yet other nations into the fray. Once at war for no good reason, the world will forget Osama bin Laden, who will still be roaming the earth a free man. Moreover, the hugely bureaucratic Office of Homeland Security — which now controls 170,000 employees from 22 federal agencies — will have no incentive to help catch him, since their encroachments upon our civil liberties will then be less credible.

My friends, it is time to pray and to ponder our actions before it is too late.


Vince Page is the Communications Director for the Texas State Constitution Party and is a District Deputy for the Texas State Knights of Columbus. He can be e-mailed at vincepage@ifriendly.com

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When honest people who hold strong opinions come together, it is natural that they state their opinions, and that those opinions occasionally clash. The articles that you see on this website represent the opinion of the writers, and are not the official opinion of this party. To see the official party position on any question, the reader is referred to the Party Platform.


Permission to reprint/republish granted, as long as you include the name of our site, the author,and our URL. www.cptexas.org. All CP Texas reports, and all editorials are property of The Constitution Party of Texas 2002 (unless otherwise noted).



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