On September 11,Bush faced a crisis that would transform his presidency. That morning, four American commercial airplanes were hijacked by Islamist terrorists.
The basic moral problem of how to deal with a repressive and aggressive rogue regime with weapons of mass destruction WMD remains essentially the same. What is different is that this debate is taking place after September That has changed what is perceived to be at stake.
If the case for Iraq I was based on defense of vital U. If Iraq I was seen as part of an effort to shape a new U.
Iraq I did not require a significant rethinking of just war norms. Third, good morality is realistic, and there are realistic ways to deal with this hard case of Iraq short of a major war or a radical change in just war doctrine, particularly given the paucity of available evidence that the nature of the threat has changed significantly in recent years.
The Hard Case Iraq is a hard case. It is held up as a poster child for three potentially interconnected moral challenges posed by contemporary international relations — rogue regimes, global terrorism, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Iraq is also a test case for proposed U.
The first moral challenge is posed by repressive and aggressive rogue regimes, such as Iraq and North Korea. Christians had the Crusades; Muslims have Osama bin Laden, who has celebrated the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon as part of a "jihad against the infidels" in the West.
It is also symptomatic of how difficult it is to defend against such evil. Such loose-knit, global networks of terrorists prosecuting what they consider to be a holy war are much more difficult to contain and deter than rogue regimes.
If a third moral challenge — the proliferation of WMD — were to be connected to the first two — rogue regimes supporting global terrorism — the combination would be extremely dangerous. The threat posed by this deadly combination of threats is so great — even if the chance of the threat being carried out is relatively low — that it can push traditional strategies and moral analysis to their limits.
Whether one describes the current structure of the international system as unipolar, uni-multipolar, or multipolar, it is indisputable that the United States has the preeminent military, political, economic, and cultural power and influence in the world.
Hard cases Make Bad Morality Underlying this new national security strategy is an important moral insight — that there is a moral imperative to address the Iraqi threat and threats like it.
There is sometimes a tendency among those who are opposed to the war on terrorism or war in Iraq to feel a need to minimize the threat and to lose sight of a fundamental moral obligation to act with resolve to defend innocent life and the common good.
The United States, in collaboration with others, has not only a moral right but a grave obligation to defend against mass terrorism and the threat Iraq poses. As the bishops said in their recent statement on Iraq, "We have no illusions about the behavior or intentions of the Iraqi government.
The Iraqi leadership must cease its internal repression, end its threats to its neighbors, stop any support for terrorism, abandon its efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction, and destroy all such existing weapons.In response to the September 11, attacks, the United States initiated an international military campaign known as the War on Terror (or the War on Terrorism).
2 Theories of Conflict and the Iraq War Table 1: Summary of Explanatory Perspectives on the Iraq Invasion challenge—particularly after the September 11, attacks that might have made the U.S. appear vulnerable. that the U.S. established in Saudi Arabia after the Gulf war (United States Department of Defense, ).
Thus, in. An Ethical Analysis of War Against Iraq What is different is that this debate is taking place after September September 9, , p.
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, "Living with Faith and Hope after September 11th," November Jean Bethke Elshtain, "A Just War?".
2 Theories of Conflict and the Iraq War Table 1: Summary of Explanatory Perspectives on the Iraq Invasion challenge—particularly after the September 11, attacks that might have made the U.S.
appear vulnerable. that the U.S. established in Saudi Arabia after the Gulf war (United States Department of Defense, ). Thus, in.
Thus, though there was no evidence that Saddam Hussein’s government in Iraq had collaborated with al-Qaeda in the September 11 attacks, the United States prepared for conflict against Iraq in its global war against terror, broadly defined. An Ethical Analysis of War Against Iraq absent clear and adequate evidence of Iraqi involvement in the September 11th attacks or a grave and imminent Iraqi threat, what is to be done?
"Should We Attack Iraq," America, September 9, , p. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, "Living with Faith and Hope after September 11th.