Thursday, April 3, 2003


Got it all done – the Passion book, the St. Nicholas project and three columns. I’m ready for a break!

My house is, too. We got some work done yesterday – cleaned the garage and the basement, and went through Katie’s clothes, but I still need to clean the back porch and go through mine and Joseph’s clothes. My study could use a good cleaning too, as it always does after a period of intense work, what with file folders and books thrown all over the floor.

I’ve got nothing of any substance to add to the war discussions, except this: I have never had any doubt that the American military would wipe the floor with the Iraqis, and never doubted that once Hussein’s power structures were removed, the Iraqi people wouldn’t be relieved. My concern has always been threefold: a) the questionable fit of this action with just war thinking b) the regional consequences, including an intensifying of anti-Americanism, a strengthening of Islamic fundamentalism, and a very difficult post-war “peace” in Iraq filled with suicide bombers c) the possibility of Iraq becoming another post-Tito Yugoslavia, or, like the newly “democratic” Algeria, promptly electing an Islamo-fascist government.

Granted, all of those are “maybes” and hesitation and fear never accomplished anything. We can’t be constrained by the possibility of negative consequences, or else nothing would ever get done. Most important, then, are the questions of the “justness” of this war, and no , it’s not a dead issue even though the action is well under way and indeed, perhaps almost finished. It’s not a dead issue because the ultimate evaluation of the war on that level (which cannot be done until well after it’s over), bears on how we evaluate future potential confrontations between nations.

If we continue to run over Iraqi resistance, killing thousands of them and losing under a hundred of our own, and end up finding no WMD, either because they weren’t there, they were destroyed, moved to Syria, or got buried in the past two weeks of bombing, I really don’t understand how this action can be justified as one embarked on against a regime that was a “threat” to us (indeed, as President Bush declared on March 6, a “direct threat.), and what that means for future nations contemplating declarations of war against other nations they deem to be a “threat” to them. Now, if Hussein (or whoever is running Iraq) is simply lying in wait, offering little resistance on the outskirts of Baghdad because they’re planning to unleash chemical, bio or even some kind of nuke on the troops when they’re all amassed in one place, the threat will be tragically, criminally clear.

But until then, we will just have to wait and see.