A Matter of Principle: Humanitarian Arguments for War in Iraq

Turn to the Politics section of a large bookshop in London and you will have no trouble finding ‘exposes’ of the post-September 11 world, and the Iraq war in particular. Noam Chomsky, John Pilger, Michael Moore and Tariq Ali dominate the shelves, each offering a variation on the same theme. And for the past three years the op-ed pages of western newspapers, particularly those of liberal bent, have been home to thousands of columns opposing the war. If one relied only on the traditional media for intellectual stimulation then a very simple political division emerges between a left opposed to the armed removal of the Saddam Hussein regime and a right who supported George W Bush’s invasion and occupation policy. No- one could be blamed for presuming that for someone to identify themselves as a liberal or a socialist was to identify themselves as anti-war.

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