Pre-emptive policy with Iraq destroys U.S. values

WBy Stephen Casper

war in Iraq is coming. This is a fact. We are told it will be a “fast war” and a “just war.” We are told that through our war of pre-emption, we will all sleep more soundly, free from the terror that “evil” visits upon us in the night. We are told this is a moral war, one more strike from good against the evil of man. So we are told. And why does no one recognize the irony of pre-emptive war? Why is it claimed to be “moral” doctrine?

Not so long ago millions moved through the doors of local cinemas to watch the movie “Minority Report.”

While munching on popcorn and drinking cola, audiences in the United States viewed with horror a legal, pre-emptive policy mandated by those who maintain social order. Based on a short story by Philip K. Dick, this film featured a world where the energy of precognitives – people appallingly gifted with the ability to see future murders – is channeled so that murder can be prevented before it occurs. The government, citing moral authority, then incarcerates people for crimes they would have committed, but did not. In this film, the moral authority, claiming our destinies are written before we are born, creates a world in which the meaning of free will disappears. Apparently, we are guilty before we have committed our crimes.

How is this war different from that concept? How is this pre-emptive policy our government advocates for Iraq fundamentally different from the pre-emptive murder policy seen in “Minority Report”? Apparently, this is a war the U.S. citizenry is supporting – even claiming as just.

And the citizens in the rest of the world? They are more cautious – more articulate in questioning the intentions of our moral authority. But we should not care about the rest of the world because we are citizens of a great nation, a nation that believes all men are created equal and innocence should always be presumed over guilt. We are the nation that holds certain truths self-evident.

Pre-emption is not the policy of the United States; it is a policy of cowardice. It is a policy that drops bombs when we should be waiting for our worst fears to materialize first. Pre-emption is not a doctrine for peace and security; it is a doctrine of paranoia. The policy we are allowing is protecting us from the crimes that will happen. We finally see the face of our cowardice and our fear in the mirror, and we no longer see the noble values of Washington, Jefferson or Franklin reflected there. When this war comes, the pride and moral strength of the United States will be dead – killed by patriots who have traded in our great values for Saddam Hussein’s worthless carcass.

Stephen Casper is a University alumnus and a student in history of medicine at the University College London. Send

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