No, it wasn’t just my imagination yesterday morning when I thought I heard a news report on NPR about Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld trying to justify a preemptive strike on Iraq by comparing it to a hypothetical situation where the moon might be hostile.
Sec. RUMSFELD: And of course, the advantage of not acting against the moon would be that no one could say that you acted. They would say, `Isn’t that good? You didn’t do anything against the moon.’ The other side of the coin of not acting against the moon in the event that the moon posed a serious threat would be that you then suffered a serious loss and you’re sorry after that’s over.
Is anyone else just stunned by the ridiculously simplistic nature of this argument? The above sound-bite was Rumsfeld’s attempt to explain why the U.S. shouldn’t have to provide detailed evidence of Iraq’s intentions. Not that he’s alone in that line of thinking, Vice President Dick Cheney sums up our justification to preemptively strike Iraq as follows: Iraq has chemical weapons. It’s seeking nuclear weapons and its leader is Saddam Hussein.
Well hell, if that’s all the justification that’s needed to launch a war then there are dozens of countries we should be gearing up to wage war on. Personally, all this talk of going to war with Iraq leaves me with the feeling Bush Jr. is trying to prove his worth by finishing what his dad started. Almost as if the administration feels it needs to do something to make up for the fact that they still haven’t captured Bin Laden and his cronies and are worried the public is going to notice that fact soon. Our allies in Europe are all balking at the idea of a preemptive strike on Iraq, with the possible exception of Britain and even they aren’t embracing the idea whole-heartedly. China is against an attack on Iraq and not one of the Arab nations is keen on the idea either. As for Saddam, he’s naturally making claims that the threat of an attack from the U.S. doesn’t just target Iraq, but the whole Arab nation as well. True or not, it plays well in the Arab press. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak told students in Alexandria, Egypt. “I said to the U.S. administration, ‘If you harm the Iraqi people while the Palestinians are still suffering, it would only fuel the anger of the Arabs.’ No leader in the Arab world would be able to stop people expressing anger at such a move.” I have no reason to doubt him on that point.
I don’t know about anyone else, but all this war mongering makes me long for the days of the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal when the only crisis at hand was whether or not the President had gotten oral sex from an intern. Maybe if Bush was busy getting a little extra “bush” on the side he wouldn’t be so frustrated and wouldn’t feel the need to run around starting wars all over the place.