Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

An Intelligent but Questionable View on Iraq

John Moser is right to cite Schroeder’s article. It is probably the best statement of the anti-war case or at least the best one that I know of. I was tacitly responding to it when I wrote the article “What the War in Iraq Means” now posted on the Ashbrook Center home page. To reiterate that argument with more explicit reference to Schroeder’s, I believe that Schroeder is right that the Bush administration’s preemptive war policy and our current fight in Iraq change the accepted norms of international conduct. But he is wrong to think that these norms do not need to change. In the article John cites, Schroeder writes, by way of explaining that no current threat justifies changing these norms, that “Terrorism has been around for centuries, and several countries in the 19th and 20th centuries, notably Spain, Russia, Italy, and the United Kingdom, survived worse terrorist campaigns and threats than we have experienced or are likely to experience. Right now the threat of terrorism is greater for the Philippines, Israel, Colombia, Peru, Nepal, and Sri Lanka than for us.” With the possible exception of Israel, Schroeder is wrong. The threat of the clandestine use of one or more weapons of mass destruction in the United States is real and growing, because technological advances put in the hands of our enemies enormous power in small packages. The norms that Schroeder describes evolved from calculations of self-interest on the part of sovereign states. Those calculations have changed and the norms will change as well. This does not answer the question (which has been mine) of whether this was the right time for war in Iraq.

Discussions - 4 Comments

What the hell are the Turks doing in Iraq? They had better not go after the Kurds...Perhaps I am overreacting, but it would be nice to know what the Turks have in mind when they decided to send 1500-2000 troups into nothern Iraq.

I didn’t notice this previously, that Prof Schroeder assumes the Great Powers balance of politics still applies today. In this case Lee Harris has an article taking this view head on:

http://www.techcentralstation.com/1051/defensewrapper.jsp?PID=1051-350&CID=1051-031103A

Another article that takes an opposite view:

http://www.claremont.org/writings/030320rood.html

I may be way out of line here, but in fairness to Mr. Shroeder and Mr. Moser this article was written at least six months ago. Though I understand that the much of the premise of Mr. Shroeder’s piece is on the justification of a pre-emptive strike, the evidence discovered since his article makes a pre-emptive strike a little more palatable. Again, I could be way off base.

Leave a Comment

* denotes a required field
 

No TrackBacks
TrackBack URL: http://nlt.ashbrook.org/movabletype/mt-tb.cgi/1493