The Intelligent Application of Force

It looks like (at least as of this writing) that the “shock and awe” mass-bombing campaign is on hold, and for that I’m exceedingly glad. With any luck, the negotiations for peaceful surrender of Iraqi forces will succeed, and this whole thing can be over without too much loss of life. Sounds like, at least on the military end of things, they’ve got their act together, working to figure out the most effective way to achieve their objectives.

As I mentioned earlier, I don’t oppose the use of force to oust Saddam Hussein (which is why you won’t see me out at any of the antiwar rallies); my objections are solely to the horrific international relations blunders and the outright lies being used to sell the war to the masses. And had the military brass decided that the overwhelming show of force was the most efficient way to fulfill their ordered mission, then I’d certainly defer to their judgment — I’m no military strategist. But I think — particularly in light of the recent news of the first American war casualty — that keeping human losses to a minimum can only be a preferable outcome.

I still have to wonder what the economic losses to the Iraqi people will be, given the already evident self-destruction of several wells on the Rumaila oil field (reports as to the extent of the damage vary at this point). It remains to be seen whether we’ll handle the aftermath of this gulf war better than we did the last.

One more quick note: I find it commendable that Congress chose to pass resolutions expressing sincere support for American troops; I find it reprehensible that Republican House leadership (specifically the weasel Tom DeLay) insisted on including language praising “little George” as well.

“Classic” reader comments:

Collin · Wed, Apr 2nd 2003, at 4:45PM

Hi Bill,

War against evil regimes is righteous. The lives lost through American action will be far fewer than those lives which will be lost should we do nothing.

In other words, to answer Kant: Would we be morally justified to torture an innocent for eternity if it meant eternal salvation for everyone else? Yes, with reservations.

Great, now I'm ranting too. Freakin' Interweb...


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