Thursday, August 09, 2007

The idiocy of preventative warfare.

I was reading an article about how Christians should view warfare. Of course, it mentioned that Jesus said he came not to bring peace, but a sword, so the author clearly wasn't too bright. I mean, Jesus was speaking about how he would divide people, because his message held real power, and his mission was one that demanded righteous action, not that you should go off and start killing people. But then it continued on asking if Christians believe one should be able to fight a "just war", one in defense against an attack (or a clearly imminent attack).

And then it went on to suggest there were times it was okay to fight a preventative war. Again, this proves the author wasn't too bright; an intelligent author wouldn't let his own prejudices dig him in like that. What he really meant to ask was "Is the invasion of Iraq justified?" and the answer is, of course, "no", but he didn't like that answer, so he created a snow job for himself and others.

But one of his points regarding preventative war was correct. It's not immoral to use military force to prevent harm to others. It's ridiculous to say that it's moral to use military force to defend one's own country and the people within it, but then claim it's immoral to use military force to defend other people. It's moral to defend those who are unjustly attacked, period.

The reason Iraq was such idiocy is that we weren't defending people who were being unjustly attacked. First and foremost, we were fighting based on lies that President Bush's people spread (lies that he was careful about repeating, so he could avoid responsibility as much as he could). But the last reason we were fighting (after the lies about WMDs and ties to Al Qaeda) was to make life better for the Iraqi people. It was, as so many idiots claimed, preventing the further harm of continuing to live under a dictator. That, they said, was moral.

I believe the polite term for such an argument is "Male bovine excreta".

The morality of an action is not determined by what you want to do; the morality of an action is determined by reasonably foreseeable outcomes. You can't fire a .44 magnum at a person's head and say it's okay, you were just trying to kill the bee that was buzzing around that person - that person is deathly allergic to bee stings! No, even an idiot knows that firing a gun pointed at someone's head is likely to cause more harm than good.

Using precisely the right amount of force to prevent a tragedy, and remaining in control of the situation for the foreseeable future, can be moral. Using massive overkill, and creating a situation where even an idiot should realize that there isn't going to be any control, can't be.

If anything good had come out of Iraq, it would have been due to luck. It would have been in spite of, not because of, the idiocy of the Bush administration.

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