In Sunday's issue of the New York Times, former
President Jimmy Carter not only proves that he is a devout follower
of the "peace at any price" coalition, but he also lays out a case
against military action with Iraq based on false statements and a
surprising failure to see the facts right before his eyes.
Former President Carter begins his editorial titled "Just War -- or
a Just War?" by naming his foundations of foreign policy and intervention,
namely "basic religious principles, respect for international law,
and alliances that resulted in wise decisions and mutual restraint."
In the very next sentence, Carter writes, "Our apparent determination
to launch a war against Iraq, without international support, is a
violation of these premises."
Yes, I did finish reading the entire column, but with an introduction
like that, I knew the rest would simply be ridiculous. How can he
say that the United States does not have international support? The
current list of coalition partners stands at over 30, with more joining
with each passing week. The violations of U.N.-mandated disarmament
by Saddam Hussein span more than a decade, and the U.N. Security Council
spoke with unanimity when passing resolution 1441 which gave Saddam
Hussein one final opportunity to immediately and unconditionally disarm.
France, Russia, China, and Syria (among others) all voted for resolution
1441. The international support for Iraqi disarmament cannot be more
Carter goes on in his column to describe his criteria for a "just
war." He writes that war can only be waged as a last resort and then
writes that "with our own national security not directly threatened
and despite the overwhelming opposition of most people and governments
in the world, the United States seems determined to carry out military
and diplomatic action." So, according to former President Carter,
the national security of the United States is not directly threatened. I
just don't know where to begin my reply. The national security of
the United States and its friends and allies is absolutely threatened
by Saddam Hussein both directly and indirectly.
Saddam Hussein, through his weapons of mass destruction, can directly
attack any number of U.S. friends in the region, thus creating a destabilizing
threat to the entire Middle East. In addition, Saddam Hussein, through
ties with terrorist organizations, could sell his weapons to groups
ready and willing to directly attack the United States. Are we just
supposed to wait for the next 9-11?
Carter then writes that the first stage of the U.S. war plan is to
"launch 3,000 bombs and missiles on a relatively defenseless Iraqi
population." This type of statement is not only false but irresponsible
as well. The goals of U.S. military actions against Iraq are to defeat
the Iraqi regime, so that full disarmament can occur. The result of
these actions will also liberate the Iraqi people. Where is the voice
of Carter, and all the other bleeding hearts, who were so vocal when
the debate was whether or not to take out Milosevic because of his
unspeakable atrocities? The Iraqi people are being tortured on a daily
basis, and yet the world is silent.
Former President Carter then makes an interesting policy proposal.
He believes that the will of the U.N. Security Council should still
be honored in calling for the elimination of Iraq's weapons of mass
destruction, but then says that if military action were needed to
do so, America does not have the "international authority" to change the
regime. In other words, if Saddam Hussein does not give up his weapons
of mass destruction, then apparently we could justifiably go in and
disarm him as long as we left Saddam Hussein in power. That makes
no sense at all. I seriously doubt that Saddam would learn his lesson
and never again torture his people or attempt to create weapons of
Then, Carter's op-ed gets even better (or worse, depending on how
you look at it). Carter writes "[t]he peace [a war] establishes must
be a clear improvement over what exists." He goes on to say "[a]lthough
there are visions of peace and democracy in Iraq, it is quite possible
that the aftermath of a military invasion will destabilize the region
and prompt terrorists to further jeopardize our security at home."
In other words, if America invades Iraq, we could face another terrorist
attack at home. Were we invading Iraq during the first World Trade
Center bombing? Were we invading Iraq during the attack on the U.S.S.
Cole? Were we invading Iraq on September 11, 2001?
The idea that life in Iraq could actually be worse than it is now
would be laughable if it weren't so sad. Iraqi civilians are beaten,
tortured, and oppressed. They have no freedom to speak out, unless
they wish to lose their tongues.
Carter writes that America jeopardizes its standing in the world community
if we carry out military action against Iraq. On the contrary, our
standing is at risk if we do not. America is great because America
is good. We fight to protect ourselves and our friends, and we fight
to secure and promote freedom. That is why a war with Iraq is not
only necessary, but it is also just.
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Bobby Eberle is President and
CEO of GOPUSA (http://www.gopusa.com/),
a news, information, and commentary company based in Houston, TX.
He holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Rice University.