was recently asked why I thought it was a bad idea for the President
to initiate a war against Iraq. I responded by saying that I could
easily give a half a dozen reasons why; and if I took a minute, I
could give a full dozen. For starters, here is a half a dozen.
one, Congress has not given the President the legal authority to wage
war against Iraq as directed by the Constitution, nor does he have
U.N. authority to do so. Even if he did, it would not satisfy the
rule of law laid down by the Framers of the Constitution.
two, Iraq has not initiated aggression against the United States.
Invading Iraq and deposing Saddam Hussein, no matter how evil a dictator
he may be, has nothing to do with our national security. Iraq does
not have a single airplane in its air force and is a poverty-ridden
third world nation, hardly a threat to U.S. security. Stirring up
a major conflict in this region will actually jeopardize our security.
three, a war against Iraq initiated by the United States cannot be
morally justified. The argument that someday in the future Saddam
Hussein might pose a threat to us means that any nation, any place
in the world is subject to an American invasion without cause. This
would be comparable to the impossibility of proving a negative.
four, initiating a war against Iraq will surely antagonize all neighboring
Arab and Muslim nations as well as the Russians, the Chinese, and
the European Union, if not the whole world. Even the English people
are reluctant to support Tony Blair's prodding of our President to
invade Iraq. There is no practical benefit for such action. Iraq could
end up in even more dangerous hands like Iran.
five, an attack on Iraq will not likely be confined to Iraq alone.
Spreading the war to Israel and rallying all Arab nations against
her may well end up jeopardizing the very existence of Israel. The
President has already likened the current international crisis more
to that of World War II than the more localized Vietnam war. The law
of unintended consequences applies to international affairs every
bit as much as to domestic interventions, yet the consequences of
such are much more dangerous.
six, the cost of a war against Iraq would be prohibitive. We paid
a heavy economic price for the Vietnam war in direct cost, debt and
inflation. This coming war could be a lot more expensive. Our national
debt is growing at a rate greater than $250 billion per year. This
will certainly accelerate. The dollar cost will be the least of our
concerns compared to the potential loss of innocent lives, both theirs
and ours. The systematic attack on civil liberties that accompanies
all wars cannot be ignored. Already we hear cries for resurrecting
the authoritarian program of conscription in the name of patriotism,
any benefit come from all this warmongering? Possibly. Let us hope
and pray so. It should be evident that big government is anathema
to individual liberty. In a free society, the role of government is
to protect the individual's right to life and liberty. The biggest
government of all, the U.N., consistently threatens personal liberties
and U.S. sovereignty. But our recent move toward unilateralism hopefully
will inadvertently weaken the United Nations. Our participation more
often than not lately is conditioned on following the international
rules and courts and trade agreements only when they please us, flaunting
the consensus, without rejecting internationalism on principle
as we should.
way these international events will eventually play out is unknown,
and in the process we expose ourselves to great danger. Instead of
replacing today's international government, (the United Nations, the
IMF, the World Bank, the WTO, the international criminal court) with
free and independent republics, it is more likely that we will see
a rise of militant nationalism with a penchant for solving problems
with arms and protectionism rather than free trade and peaceful negotiations.
last thing this world needs is the development of more nuclear weapons,
as is now being planned in a pretense for ensuring the peace. We would
need more than an office of strategic information to convince the
world of that.
do we need? We need a clear understanding and belief in a free society,
a true republic that protects individual liberty, private property,
free markets, voluntary exchange and private solutions to social problems,
placing strict restraints on government meddling in the internal affairs
we live in challenging and dangerous times.