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Q: Preventing the War in Iraq (continued) ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   7 Comments )
Subject: Preventing the War in Iraq (continued)
Category: Relationships and Society
Asked by: justaskscott-ga
List Price: $3.17
Posted: 17 Mar 2003 05:34 PST
Expires: 16 Apr 2003 06:34 PDT
Question ID: 177278
I have a related question at:

I am opening this new question for those who did not notice the
intitial question.

I'm interested here in collecting the best arguments against war in
Iraq.  I'm looking for arguments that we can use to persuade
government officials, friends, etc.

As with the original question, please post comments, not an answer,
for a while.

I hope that you'll keep posting comments to the original question as
well.  And I hope that you'll use these ideas, so that you can look
back and say that you did something.

Clarification of Question by justaskscott-ga on 17 Mar 2003 05:39 PST
While this question is locked, you can post your comments to my
original question.  If you'd like, you can repost them here later.

Clarification of Question by justaskscott-ga on 19 Mar 2003 04:45 PST
I intend to choose a Researcher to answer this question tonight.  In
the meantime, you can post your best arguments against the war -- or
your best ideas for limiting its repercussions.

Clarification of Question by justaskscott-ga on 19 Mar 2003 16:43 PST
As with my companion question, it's time -- in these last few moments
before the war -- to choose someone to answer it.  Again, it is a
difficult choice, but I will select Mvguy, for pointing out the
excellent ideas on the Sojourners web site.  It's a shame that their
"third way" has not been followed.  Perhaps it will be a guide for the

Anyway, Mvguy, please post whatever you would like in the answer
Subject: Re: Preventing the War in Iraq (continued)
Answered By: mvguy-ga on 21 Mar 2003 12:58 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Dear Justaskscott-ga,

Obviously, the decision to go to war has already been made, so nothing
any of us say now can change this. So the best I can hope for at this
point is that both sides will follow their utmost to follow
international law on the conduct of the war, such as by minimizing
civilian casualties and by not taking any steps that would needlessly
complicate reconciliation after the war is over.

I am saddened by the term of events, because I don't believe it was
necessary to go to war, certainly not yet. The presence of the no-fly
zone and trade restrictions, plus the threat of a war, were leading to
disarmament -- a slow disarmament to be sure, but nevertheless an
improvement.  I'm pretty much in accord with the principles that form
the just-war doctrine; among them is that war should be a final

As I said above, one of the problems that the antiwar movement had was
that it was not able to do successfully present alternatives to war.
President Bush, with his "if you're not for us you're against it" and
his apparent tendency to things in black and white, was able to
successfully convinced the America public (or most of us) that we
basically had two choices, war or letting Hussein continue to be a

In this case, I do believe there were alternatives. The main one was
letting the process continue -- if we had waited longer, certainly
more Al Samoud 2 missiles would have been destroyed.  Hussein
certainly wasn't in a position to be developing more weapons.  The
article I linked to earlier suggested a variation on the policy in
effect before the ultimatum.  (It should be noted that the alternative
presented in the Sojourners piece wasn't a strictly pacifist approach,
but one that fell far short of war.  But it seems to be that it was a
plan that might have worked with a much less destructive application
of force.)

It's difficult to turn the clock back the say what else might have
worked; the answer partly depends on how far back the clock is turned.
 (Turn the clock back far enough, and we could have averted this by
not being Hussein's ally at one time.)  But it is worth noting that,
so far at least, a more grave threat involving North Korea is being
approached through diplomacy, and that the liberation of South Africa
took place through primarily (although not completely) nonviolent

One might argue that any nonviolent approach has its drawbacks and
isn't guaranteed to work.  That's absolutely true.  But the same is
true of war.  We don't know if this war is going to achieve its goals.
 (Most of the stated goals are worthy ones, in my view.)  In all
likelihood, the country will disarmed and Hussein will be powerless
(if he lives).  But we don't know if indeed the Iraqi people will find
freedom.  And certainly we are taking big risks with military action. 
So any method of approaching the problem of a brutal dictator such as
Hussein is fraught with difficulty. My plea is that the try the
nonviolent approaches first, leaving war as a final resort.

Thanks for asking this question,

justaskscott-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $3.23
A thoughtful commentary.  All I can add is that even if Bush and Blair
do accomplish all of their goals in Iraq, they will have created
problems elsewhere in the world.  I hope that your views on
nonviolence, with war as a last resort, are followed elsewhere and in
future disputes.

Subject: Re: Preventing the War in Iraq (continued)
From: mathtalk-ga on 17 Mar 2003 10:48 PST
President Bush said last week that there would be a vote in the
Security Council on a second resolution (besides 1441) authorizing the
use of force in Iraq.  If such a motion were voted down, any imminent
invasion of Iraq would clearly be unauthorized by the United Nations,
and thus illegal.  If the motion were approved, such a use of force
would be authorized under the UN Charter, to which both the US and
Iraq are signators.

What if there is no vote?  Despite Pres. Bush's earlier pledge,
statements issued by his administration indicate a desire to spare the
UN from "unnecessary" effort.

It is an established principle of international law that the Security
Council is itself the proper interpreter of its own resolutions. 
President Bush lacks any authority to substitute his own judgement for
that of the UN, yet this is tantamount to his claim that resolution
1441 already authorizes him to use military force to invade,
overthrow, and occupy Iraq.

-- mathtalk-ga
Subject: Re: Preventing the War in Iraq (continued)
From: jackburton-ga on 17 Mar 2003 11:32 PST
Subject: Re: Preventing the War in Iraq (continued)
From: mvguy-ga on 17 Mar 2003 16:01 PST
One thing that hasn't been done enough by the antiwar movement is to
offer alternatives to war. Here's one possibility:
Subject: Re: Preventing the War in Iraq (continued)
From: jackburton-ga on 18 Mar 2003 02:41 PST
Everyone sends a postcard to President Bush --NOW!!!, preferrably via
registered post, with a brief anti-war message. Mark the postcard
"urgent". Because a postcard is physical and tangible, it will make
more of an impact, especially if the White House has to sign for each
postcard they receive. The messages will be visible (not like a
letter), so everyone  will be able to see these messages. If enough
people send him a postcard, it's bound to get noticed. Postal services
around the world will get flooded....the White House would have
difficulty sweeping it under the carpet. The postcards will be
traceable, so they can't go astray or be destroyed, as they'll all
have to be individually signed for. Just an idea!
Subject: Re: Preventing the War in Iraq (continued)
From: jackburton-ga on 18 Mar 2003 02:46 PST's the address:
President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500 
Subject: Re: Preventing the War in Iraq (continued)
From: badabing-ga on 18 Mar 2003 11:17 PST
For those wishing to send a telegram to the White House:
Subject: Re: Preventing the War in Iraq (continued)
From: imahusband2000-ga on 17 May 2003 15:26 PDT
It should be duly noted that this is not the first time the authority
of the U.N. has been usurped.. witness serbia/kosovo and nato. only
then it wasnt so contreversial because many u.n. countries were
involved in it.

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