All right, let me see if I
understand the logic of this correctly. We are going to ignore the
United Nations in order to make clear to Saddam Hussein that the United
Nations cannot be ignored. We're going to wage war to preserve the UN's
ability to avert war. The paramount principle is that the UN's word must
be taken seriously, and if we have to subvert its word to guarantee that
it is, then by gum, we will. Peace is too important not to take up arms
to defend. Am I getting this right?
Further, if the only way to
bring democracy to Iraq is to vitiate the democracy of the Security
Council, then we are honor-bound to do that too, because democracy, as
we define it, is too important to be stopped by a little thing like
democracy as they define it.
Also, in dealing with a man who
brooks no dissension at home, we cannot afford dissension among
ourselves. We must speak with one voice against Saddam Hussein's failure
to allow opposing voices to be heard. We are sending our gathered might
to the Persian Gulf to make the point that might does not make right, as
Saddam Hussein seems to think it does. And we are twisting the arms of
the opposition until it agrees to let us oust a regime that twists the
arms of the opposition. We cannot leave in power a dictator who ignores
his own people. And if our people, and people elsewhere in the world,
fail to understand that, then we have no choice but to ignore them.
Listen. Don't misunderstand. I
think it is a good thing that the members of the Bush administration
seem to have been reading Lewis Carroll. I only wish someone had pointed
out that "Alice in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking
Glass" are meditations on paradox and puzzle and illogic and on the
strangeness of things, not templates for foreign policy. It is amusing
for the Mad Hatter to say something like, `We must make war on him
because he is a threat to peace,' but not amusing for someone who
actually commands an army to say that.
As a collector of laughable
arguments, I'd be enjoying all this were it not for the fact that I
know--we all know--that lives are going to be lost in what amounts to a
freak, circular reasoning accident.