Think It Through

A Letter to the Editor in today’s San Jose Mercury News (responding to a Pat Buchanan op-ed saying we should get out of Iraq) states the Bush position:

Dinosaur Buchanan doesn’t get it

Democracies don’t commit aggression on others, and if they resort to force sometimes, even pre-emptively, it is only as a last recourse in legitimate self-defense or in defense of others, particularly the weak.

For example, Germany, Italy and Japan — which in their history knew almost nothing about effective democracy before World War II — haven’t committed aggression against others since then. Therefore, and in the light of Sept. 11, democratizing Afghanistan and Iraq — and eventually the rest of the Muslim world — is America’s best insurance against organized mass-murdering Islamist terrorism. The ultra-isolationist, dinosaur ortho-con (orthodox conservative) Patrick Buchanan can’t see it.”

Think this through. “Democracies don’t commit aggression on others” therefore our aggression on Iraq is justified because (this week’s) reason for attacking that country was to make them become a democracy.

Actually I agree with the premise that democracies do not commit aggression. But I would add to that. I would say that informed democracies don’t commit aggression, and make rational decisions. The fact that America did commit aggression says more about what America has become than about anything else. We are no longer an informed democracy, which I think means we are no longer a democracy at all. America went to war because we were told that there was an imminent danger of an attack against us by Iraq. We were told that Iraq had nuclear and biological weapons and was ready to either use them against us or give them to al-Queda to use against us. This was a lie. It was a lie designed to get us to support war.

A simple test – ask 100 people why we went to war against Iraq and why we are there now, and you will get almost 100 different answers. We – the public – still do not know why we are at war. Think THAT through.