I support a war on the grounds that the current regime of the Ba’ath Party in Iraq is a criminal state that has gone beyond the pale even as judged by the very low standards of the Middle East region, and certainly of the international community. My position rests on the exceptional nature of Ba’athi totalitarianism in Iraq (and is therefore not extendable to all the nasty states that exist in the world). Moreover, it derives from the particular historical experience-dating back to the 1991 Gulf War-that binds the United States to Iraq. The outcome of that war, which left the dictator in place and precipitated one of the harshest sanction regimes of recent times, places an extraordinary moral responsibility upon the shoulders of the United States to finish that which it in a very important sense left unfinished. Such a responsibility might not exist were it not for that particular historical experience. One does not transport half a million men halfway across the world and then leave the people of a country, who were not responsible for their state’s outrage, broken and bleeding for ten years with no end in sight to the torment that they are going through.
I favor a UN inspection system with reluctance, only because I hope that it will give greater international legitimacy to what I think the United States ought to do. I do not think inspections will work, nor do I think the regime of Saddam Hussein can ever really allow itself to be totally disarm...
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