Watts (chipotle) wrote,

Pogo was right

The recent debate over Iraq "has already given us an image of arrogance and unilateralism, and we're paying a very high price for that image. If we get to the point where everyone secretly hopes the United States gets a black eye because we're so obnoxious, then we'll be totally hamstrung in the war on terror. We'll be like Gulliver with the Lilliputians."

-- Brent Scowcroft, national security advisor in the first Bush administration

"What is being put at risk is infinitely more valuable than what is being achieved," said David Calleo, a major authority on U.S.-European relations at the Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies. "We now seem to be in sort of semi-warfare with the European Union, which puts at risk 50 years of American foreign policy."

* * *

I actually have a long piece I was going to post about the impending war but I'm not sure it's worth it. The summation is that the main reason I'm against the war is that I don't believe the ends justify the means. I believe in Kant's categorical imperative, act only on that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.

If you think that's just pie-in-the-sky idealism, let's be pragmatic: don't think we aren't setting a precedent. The message is crystal clear. When another government is judged by your government alone, regardless of the consensus of other nations, to be a sufficient threat to your security, it is your right and responsibility to overthrow them.

Think long and hard about what's going to happen when other countries follow that lead. Don't think they won't--see how far the language and actions of our "war on terrorism" has already spread. And then think about what our choices will be at that point, when other countries launch preemptive assaults on one another on the basis of evidence they claim is convincing but refuse to share for security reasons, when they ignore the concerns of the majority of the rest of the world because they know they're right. We can look the other way, or we can use force again to teach them that such actions are reserved for the United States and the United States alone.

And anyone who thinks that's a road that is either desirable or necessary needs to think longer and harder.

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