Friday, March 02, 2007

Cheney in Pakistan, McCain's Hypocrisy, and Just Wars

As usual, Terry Jeffries hits a grand slam.

Quoting Negroponte's National Security Assessment, he highlights the following:

"Al-Qaeda's core elements are resilient," he wrote. "They continue to plot attacks against our homeland and other targets with the objective of inflicting mass casualties. And they continue to maintain active connections and relationships that radiate outward from their leaders' secure hideout in Pakistan to affiliates throughout the Middle East, Northern Africa and Europe."

That should settle the question of why Cheney was nearly car-bombed recently.

But then Terry gets to the question of McPain, who is just as shamelessly hypocritical as anyone on the President-wannabe circuit (Brownback excepted.)

"We are paying a very heavy price for the mismanagement, that's the kindest word I can give you, of Donald Rumsfeld, of this war," said McCain.

...But which is more responsible for the tough situation we face in Iraq today: Donald Rumsfeld's management of the military or the assignment of that military to an impractical political mission promoted by John McCain and President Bush?

Under Rumsfeld, our armed forces swiftly accomplished the core military mission in Iraq. They removed the perceived threat posed by Saddam Hussein's regime. After that, the U.S. mission in Iraq was essentially political, not military -- and in John McCain's view that meant a U.S. "commitment to revolutionary democratic change."

So what?

"The true test of our power, and much of the moral basis for its use, lies not simply in ending dictatorship but in helping the Iraqi people construct a democratic future," said McCain. "This is what sets us aside from empire builders: the use of power for moral purpose."

As nice as this may sound, it is wrong.

There is only one moral justification for war: self-defense. And self-defense alone is not sufficient. A war of self-defense must also be a last resort, must have a reasonable chance of succeeding and cannot be anticipated to cause more damage than it prevents.

That's the Just War Theory, plain and simple. It's been forgotten by the radio-yappers who loudly insist that those who question "nation-building" are not "supporting the troops."

And those radio-yappers, Limbaugh included, are full of crap.

But McCain also based his case for war on an inaccurate assessment of the chances the United States could create a democracy in Iraq. "'Experts' who dismiss hopes for Iraqi democracy as naive and the campaign to liberate Iraq's people as dangerously destabilizing do not explain why they believe Iraqis or Arabs are uniquely unsuited to representative government, and they betray a cultural bigotry that ill serves our interests and values," McCain wrote.

In fact, there were serious reasons before the war to conclude it would be difficult to establish a stable government in Iraq, let alone a democracy, if Saddam were removed. One reason was Iraq's well-known ethnic-sectarian divisions -- Sunni, Shiite and Kurd -- and the historic tensions between them. Another was that Iraq was the birthplace of Shiite Islamism, and that many of Saddam's tyrannical acts had been aimed at suppressing leading Shiite Islamists, some of whom had fled to Iran where they plotted an Islamic revolution for their homeland.

And such reasons remain today.

McCain's about an inch away (philosophically) from the Globaloney Crowd we mentioned below. Maybe the Letterman show is the most appropriate forum for the Senator, after all.

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