COLUMN: No justification for Iraq war

Allen Hines

Now that the number of casualties in Iraq is well over 2,000, let’s reexamine the war through just war principles.

Saddam Hussein was not a real threat to the United States. He never attacked the United States. He was never an accomplice in any attacks on the United States. Yet, the United States invaded Iraq, and we continue to prosecute the unjust war.

A just war requires that other options be considered before any military action is taken. These options may not be appropriate measures to take to resolve the conflict. For example, the United States could not impose further sanctions on Iraq because under the existing sanction 250 Iraqi civilians were dying from malnutrition each day. But a workable option was to continue to let United Nations weapons inspectors do their jobs.

The “right intention” principle calls for war to be directed at a certain goal and to lead to peace. Also, this principle says that every action taken during the war must be done to reach the goal of the war and not inflict unnecessary harm.

In “Conservative Principles, Political Reality, and the War on Terrorism,” Larry Wortzel says, “A military, diplomatic, financial, and political campaign was required to ensure that no weapons that can produce mass casualties got into the hands of these al-Qaeda terrorists.” Iraq was under “special scrutiny” as a “major exporter of weapons of mass destruction.”

But we hunted for WMDs for a year and a half, and when we finally called off the search, we had not even found one of the weapons that the president pointed to as a reason to go to war. This shows that President Bush never had a justifiable goal that would lead to peace. Bush lied to us and violated the “right intention” principle of just-war theory.

Wortzel also uses the analogy of Iraq being a harmful neighbor who keys your car and attacks your child. “This is essentially the position in which the United States found itself with Iraq,” he writes. He also says the United Nations weapons inspectors were not allowed to do their jobs. Thus, the United States was forced to attack.

More U.S. troops have died in the first 33 months of Operation Iraqi Freedom than died in the same span of time during the Vietnam War.

Allen Hines is a freshman pre-journalism and mass communication major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].