March 9, 2003


Just War - or a Just War? (JIMMY CARTER, March 9, 2003, NY Times)
As a Christian and as a president who was severely provoked by international crises, I became thoroughly familiar with the principles of a just war, and it is clear that a substantially unilateral attack on Iraq does not meet these standards. This is an almost universal conviction of religious leaders, with the most notable exception of a few spokesmen of the Southern Baptist Convention who are greatly influenced by their commitment to Israel based on eschatological, or final days, theology.

For a war to be just, it must meet several clearly defined criteria.

The war can be waged only as a last resort, with all nonviolent options exhausted. In the case of Iraq, it is obvious that clear alternatives to war exist. [...]

The attackers must have legitimate authority sanctioned by the society they profess to represent. The unanimous vote of approval in the Security Council to eliminate Iraq's weapons of mass destruction can still be honored, but our announced goals are now to achieve regime change and to establish a Pax Americana in the region, perhaps occupying the ethnically divided country for as long as a decade. For these objectives, we do not have international authority. [...]

The peace it establishes must be a clear improvement over what exists. Although there are visions of peace and democracy in Iraq, it is quite possible that the aftermath of a military invasion will destabilize the region and prompt terrorists to further jeopardize our security at home.

The point of the war is regime change. If Saddam won't leave he has to be removed.

George W. Bush is the President of the United States of America and has the authority of his nation to pursue the war. The United Nations, as is being proved this week, has no authority, temporal or moral.

Saddam Hussein's regime is one of the two or three worst in the world today: anything will be an improvement, including a period of instability and the breakup of the country.

That democracy is problematic is proven by the inexplicable fact that this flaming idiot is a former President of the United States. That this is a great nation is amply proven by the fact that we survived that presidency.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 9, 2003 7:26 AM

Amen. Oxblog has a good fisking of this nonsense. Carter used to be considered our "best ex-president," although I think even that was a lie. I consider him both a scoundrel and a moron.

Posted by: NKR at March 9, 2003 12:30 PM

My mother and father (Reagan Democrats both) used to say that Carter was a lousy President, but a very good human being. My father is now where I cannot argue with him, and I was raised better than to pick a fight with Mom, but I've learned the last few years that their assessment was only half right -- and sadly, it's the first half.

Posted by: Chris Badeaux at March 9, 2003 1:21 PM