Christopher Hitchens is hardly worth mentioning these days on the subject of foreign policy, but for some reason they still let him write columns on the subject, so here’s mentioning:
Go look this up, and you will discover that those who didn’t want to confront Slobodan Milosevic or Saddam Hussein would always stress the awesome power of violence that they had at their command.
Yeah, no, that’s actually not true. As I recall it was sort of the people who wanted us to invade Iraq who kept talking about Saddam Hussein’s awesome power of violence, viz., the WMDs that turned out not to exist. Those of us who didn’t want to invade Iraq tended to focus on the fact that invading a country that hasn’t attacked you, or really even done anything that would constitute a legitimate provocation, is illegal, because it’s illegal, and immoral, because it entails killing a lot of people (including children) for no good reason, and foolish, because it leads to consequences that may spiral horrifically out of control in unpredictable ways. I for one didn’t really have a smidgen of doubt, watching the tanks roll in on March 21, 2003, that they’d be in Baghdad pretty soon; but the fact that your enemy is weak isn’t usually considered sufficient justification for waging war upon him.
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