The arguments now against the war in Iraq – coming from the rather awkward position of resounding victory and liberation in just three weeks – are that our motives were “wrong” (just not pure enough for a worldview that values ideology above all else), and that this dangerous “preemptive” war would continue – driven by a bloodthirsty momentum – to rampage against others we deem unfit for rule, like, say Syria’s Assad.
Preeminent among pro-war theorists all along has been classical and military historian Victor Davis Hanson: if ANYONE on the side of the hawks could be expected to argue for a continuation and expansion of hostilities, it is he. Yet this is what he wrote just yesterday:
- We do not need to, nor should we, attack or even threaten a criminal Syria with a force that we probably won’t employ. Creating permanent change in Iraq and allowing the world to realign itself to new moral realities will soon enough squeeze Mr. Assad as never before. The future, you see, is on not his, but our, side. It is precisely because the last decade has seen American military power – against Noriega, bin Laden, the Taliban, and Saddam Hussein – used for the promotion of human freedom and humanitarian values that our enemies are so exasperated and the neutrals so shrill. [National Review]
This from our foremost hawk? Another anti-war argument down the drain.
And what of our purity of heart? David Ignatius rather poignantly addresses such concerns:
- Muslims believe that two angels sit on our shoulders, one recording our good deeds, the other our bad ones. In Arabic, the good deeds are known as “hasanna.” They are the gifts we give others without counting the cost to ourselves, or the benefit.
The decision by George W. Bush and Tony Blair to defy global opinion and invade Iraq was a hasanna — a good deed. Perhaps it will bring the United States a reward in greater security, perhaps not. But it was a virtuous act that freed a desperate people from a tyrannical regime.
If you travel this country and listen to Iraqis, it’s hard not to conclude that in moral terms, this war was worth the pain and suffering it caused. The stories you hear on every street corner about life under Saddam Hussein still break your heart. People here doubted anyone would rescue them from the torture chamber that was the Iraqi state, least of all the United States. And now they are free. That’s a hasanna. [Washington Post]
Very nice David – better still from an Islamic perspective.