A lot of the controversy over the war, particularly in Iraq, stems from the fact that our actions were pre-emptive.
With respect to pre-emptive military action, please explain what you consider an acceptable threshold for American action. For example: Should we wait until an attack has been launched but not yet struck (re: Paul) before acting? Should we act when we have "reasonable suspicion" that another country or entity is actively planning violence against us? Should we act against any state or nation that we know wishes to cause us harm, before they have the opportunity to organize an act of violence against us?
Where do we draw that "line in the sand"?
I believe that's an oversimplification of Paul's foreign policy, but a) I don't think he manages media sound-bytes as well as he should, and b) I'm not here to talk about him anyways. I'm here to debate my position against our current war strategery.
To begin with, I'm against any form of pre-crime. It's simply too Orwellian for me. Whether it be locking people up at home, or killing them abroad, the very idea of pre-crime can only take us down the dark path towards tyranny.
But does that mean we have to be attacked prior to taking any action? Of course not. Let's turn to John Locke for insight:
THE state of war is a state of enmity and destruction: and therefore declaring by word or action, not a passionate and hasty, but a sedate settled design upon another man's life, puts him in a state of war with him against whom he has declared such an intention, and so has exposed his life to the other's power to be taken away by him, or any one that joins with him in his defence, and espouses his quarrel; it being reasonable and just, I should have a right to destroy that which threatens me with destruction: for, by the fundamental law of nature, man being to be preserved as much as possible, when all cannot be preserved, the safety of the innocent is to be preferred
There's no just purpose for going to war, other than specifically to preserve the American way of life (true American Exceptionalism). The Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan were justly attacked. But unfortunately, the job was never completed in favor of moving on to attack Iraq instead.
Were there just reasons to attack Iraq? Maybe. But violating UN resolutions isn't one of them. America first. Our blood and treasure is too valuable to be spent on the hypothetical "international community" called the UN.
Time has passed by since the attack, and we know a lot more than we did before. I believed it when I was initially told that Saddam had WMDs, but I'm not willing to go through the mental gymnastics it requires, to hang on to a belief that is now known to be as reliable than Al Gore's global warming "evidence." I rather just admit I was wrong.
More than any other nation besides Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia was responsible for the 9/11 attack. Most of the terrorists on that fateful day, were Saudi nationals. Osama bin Laden is a Saudi. The citizenry of that nation supports radical Islam. Countless Saudi "charities" fund the al Qaeda terrorist network ...
The same could be said of Pakistan, where General Musharaff seized power by force in a 1999 coup (and obviously harbored Osama bin Laden in the months prior to his 9/11 attack).
So the question of whether we had the right to attack Iraq pre-emptively or not, doesn't do enough to address the Middle East quagmire we're now caught in. A better question is, "Why didn't we go after a more obvious enemy, like the tyrannical State of Saudi Arabia instead?"
I believe both Russ and I are in agreeance that bin Laden's goal is to raise the Caliphate, and that the freedoms we enjoy as Americans stand as a barrier in his way. Yet in the execution of our current war strategery, we've actively reduced our freedoms at home. Isn't that exactly what the enemy wants?
Not to mention we've built 2 Islamic States, we're still sending "foreign aid" to the Taliban, and at one point we even helped arm bin Laden (and Saddam Hussein)!
We can't simply ignore these facts by sweeping them under the rug. So based on this schizophrenic history of entanglement with various evil regimes, it's a fair question to ask too, "What else are we setting ourselves up for?"
Instead of entangling alliances with some of the most evil people the world has ever known, we must always place American freedom and liberty above all! Giving up our freedoms, even if deemed (by some as) inconsequential, is not a step toward victory, but another step down the dark road of tyranny. A road our enemies eagerly pave.
Finishing the job in Afghanistan prior to venturing on, ending all "foreign aid" to various tyrannical regimes, and attacking Saudi Arabia would certainly make sense under just war philosophy, as well as America First foreign policy. But choosing to go after Saddam Hussein instead, was nothing more than going "abroad in search of monsters."
Will be updated with any punditry that rolls in.