Title: A Quaker Viewpoint
Word Count: 3,227
Impetus: An apparent urge to confront a rare honest opponent of the war with Iraq. Proximately, an article in “The Quaker Economist” (which, oddly, he doesn’t link to, although he does quote a lot of it) by one Jack Powelson, making a pacifist case against the war.
Thesis: We aren’t going to war with Iraq, as opposed to, say, North Korea, because of the particular sins of Iraq, numerous and serious though they are. We’re going to war with Iraq because it best serves our long-range strategic interest of wiping out the “Arab/Islamic cultural disease.”
Science Analogy: Patent medicine. It suppressed the symptoms of tuberculosis but did nothing for the disease. Anyone like Powelson who looks at a particular attack or battle in isolation is thinking the same way.
Best quote: “Sometimes you fight in a place because your enemy is there. Sometimes you fight in a place because you need to move through it to get to somewhere else you need to go.”
Bonus: Some nice line-by-line deconstruction of Powelson’s “international law” and “declaration of war” pettifogging. (I’d call it a “fisking” but Colby Cosh says that’s twee.)
(Update: Den Beste points out that he linked to the Quaker article in “On Screen.” My mistake. I missed those links before, and I bet some of his other readers did too.)