Politics & Policy

The Evidence

The ex-president is wrong.

Jimmy Carter wrote yet another opinion piece on Sunday, this time in the New York Times, criticizing President Bush’s foreign policy. His unsolicited advice — presented in an increasingly arrogant tone — addressed what he called the elements of a “just war.”

I needn’t summarize Carter’s piece here, as it’s impossible to cover adequately all of its defects, or his, in one sitting. (For a good deconstructing, see Ramesh Ponnuru.) However, it’s remarkable that a man who, as president, tolerated Pol Pot and one million Cambodian deaths, ushered in the Ayatollah Khomeini and decades of international terrorism, ignored Daniel Ortega and the spread of Communism in our hemisphere, and took no effective steps to confront the Soviets as they invaded Afghanistan and caused millions of casualties, is treated as some kind of human-rights advocate. I doubt those who suffered horribly under these regimes see him that way.

And it should shock no one that the New York Times, which is opposed to war with Iraq, is impressed with Carter’s views. After all, it was only 60 or so years ago that it was slow to report on the Holocaust, for which it has since apologized. There are six million Jews who never lived long enough to hear those words.

War against Iraq is not only just, but long overdue. There are a combination of factors that make it so:

Genocide: Since coming to power in 1979, Saddam Hussein has killed 200,000 of his own people, mostly Kurds and Shiites. He has launched unprovoked wars against his neighbors, resulting in the death of over one million Muslims.

Other Atrocities: Hussein uses sadistic and barbaric forms of torture to maintain control over 23 million Iraqis, including chemical and biological experiments, disfiguration, and rape. He has used poisons, such as mustard gas, against entire towns and refugee camps, killing and maiming untold thousands.

International Law: Hussein stands in violation of 17 U.N. resolutions, including the ceasefire and surrender terms to which he agreed, by refusing to disarm and destroy his vast array of weapons of mass destruction. He has failed to account for thousands of prisoners of war, including hundreds of Kuwaitis and one American. Hussein caused irreparable environmental damage when his retreating military ignited Kuwaiti oil fields.

U.S. National Security: Hussein’s continuing pursuit of nuclear weapons and his hidden stores of tons of chemical and biological weapons are not intended for defensive purposes. None of the countries surrounding Iraq, including Israel and Iran, pose a threat to Iraq. It is Iraq that poses a threat to its neighbors, as Hussein’s words and record make clear.

Evidence of al Qaeda and Iraqi connections continues to grow. No less an authority than the left’s beloved New York Times reported recently that al Qaeda terrorists are operating in Iraq, and not only in the northern no-fly zone. Iraq is also collaborating with other terrorist organizations. For example, it funds homicide bombers, many of whom are associated with Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

In any event, Hussein and al Qaeda, as well as other terrorist groups, have every reason to cooperate with each other. They’re motivated by a common purpose, i.e., to inflict massive casualties on Americans. It’s illogical to argue that they would abstain from such alliances. Therefore, the risk of Hussein arming terrorists with deadly weapons for use against the United States is real and serious.

Furthermore, NBC News reported recently that there are numerous Iraqi cells operating in the U.S. capable of committing terrorist acts. Such an infiltration of enemy combatants is clearly a provocation for war.

For these reasons, among others, war against Iraq will not only be just, but a long time coming.


The Latest