No preemptory strike

Letter to the Editor

Posted: Monday, August 19, 2002

With the talk in the air about our military options for Iraq, I wish to voice my opposition to preemptory military action against Iraq. For us to be the aggressor goes against what our country is all about. Yes, Saddam is a threat to world peace. But he is far from unique. Arafat and Sharon are threats to world peace! Yes, Saddam may be developing weapons of mass destruction. Yes, we might be safer if we wagged war successfully. But it's still wrong. Using the same line of reasoning we would have been justified in a preemptory nuclear attack on the Soviet Union several times during the Cold War. We could use this same reason to attack North Korea.

I have never been called a dove or a peacenik. We were correct in moving against Saddam after he invaded Kuwait. We were obligated to do so by commitments to Kuwait, not necessarily because of the importance of Mideast oil to us. But we wouldn't have been justified to have taken action against Saddam simply because he might invade Kuwait. I realize America has waged war because of incidents (the incident in the Tonkin Gulf, the sinking of the Maine in the Havana harbor, etc.) which people in good faith can argue were excuses rather than reasons. Still, the America which represents my ideal of our country does not attack another country to reduce risks.

Again, I oppose preemptory action against Iraq.

Richard Stokes


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