David Holford Welcomes You To
Holford Web
Home of David's Mental Meanderings

 Who is David Holford?
 David's Mental Meanderings

Daily Diversions (Web Log)

  Photos of Aidan and Abigail

David's Mental Meanderings
12th March 2003

After this instalment of the Meanderings, you may experience a hiatus from my pithy comments. As you may know, our landlady has decided that Aidie doesn't need a place to live, so we will likely be between fixed places of abode for a time. The Lord and the local government will probably send us as missionaries into a part of the city that makes the third world seem positively plush. This is not the sort of place where a computer would stay in our possession with double locks and a guard dog, so it and anything worth more than tuppence will go into storage.

Heretofore, I have remained silent about the coming conflict in the Middle East. However, as the war could come and go before I have a telephone line for my modem again, I will toss in my views. The battle lines of opinion have been firmly drawn by this time, so I'm not expecting to sway any. This is just an example of the irrepressible urge to sound off.

Here in the UK, you would think that not a person in the world, save W., Tony Blair, and a few of their closest colleagues are actually in favour of an attack on Iraq. I know that is not the case and reliable reports out of the States indicate that there is a very sizable pro-war movement, though this is apparently only noticed by the Fox network.

Many people I love and respect, and with whom I have much in common theologically, socially, and politically, are in favour of this war. Most of the people I despise on the same grounds are opposed to it. I will say it now: most of the world's idiots are against the war.

So am I.

I do not share a political bed with Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn comfortably. I laugh at the shaggy-haired peaceniks in their tents outside airbases. The words of wisdom drivelling from the mouths of marchers throughout the country embarrasses me. Most of them are opposed to the war for completely stupid reasons.

Unfortunately, most of those who support the war seem believe that the United States possesses some sort of moral high ground. There is a spirit of Manifest Destiny taken to international levels that is beyond even the days of the Marshall Plan.

I marvel at the hypocrisy of this paranoia about weapons of mass destruction. Apparently, no one should be allowed what are now known as simply as "WMD" - except, of course, the United States, because we know we can trust ourselves with them. This from a country that one honest conservative Christian professor noted has killed millions upon millions of its own unborn children. Talk about mass destruction! Talk about chemical and biological warfare.

And before I go any further, let's be honest here folks. Saddam Hussein and the current Iraqi regime do not pose a threat to the territorial integrity of the United States or the people within it. Now let's look at some of the other arguments for war.

Saddam hasn't kept to the terms of the last conflict. He was supposed to disarm then and he hasn't. First of all, there shouldn't have been a last conflict. I was opposed to the first Gulf War. We had no business mobilizing the entire US military and sacrificing American (or any other) lives to support one Muslim dictator over another. The United States is not the world's policeman.

But wouldn't he have attacked Saudi Arabia after Kuwait if we hadn't stopped him there? We could have hoped so. A secularist Muslim with tolerance for Christians could have overthrown an absolute monarchy where the penalty of preaching the Gospel is beheading? We are talking about the government that has actually supported more terrorism than any other and was the source of the funding and schooling of the 9/11 hijackers. Why in the world are we going after a nutcase in Baghdad with limited resources whilst coddling and nurturing the real demoniacal forces of radical Islam?

Since not enough people have been buying the WMD and broken terms arguments, both W and Tony have pulled out what they somehow believe is the trump card. Don't we have a moral responsibility to listen to the voices of those who have escaped Iraq and are begging us to go in and take over? No. If that obligation was so pressing, it would have been used against regimes that have perpetrated horrors on their own people that make Saddam look downright cuddly. It is purely an argument of convenience. Go deal with the slave trade in Sudan. You think opposition parties have a hard time? Go to Myanmar. And North Korea is asking for a fight but can't get it.

I love a lot of things about W. I think he is a good man. I have no doubt he is a praying Christian man. He has taken action to right many of the wrongs of the godless policies of the previous administration. I don't think he should be re-writing international law.

When opining on this new-fangled doctrine of pre-emptive attack, noted scholars and eminent theologians who I know and respect (and some of whom read these Meanderings) have been chirping in with unwavering support. Apparently it is a good idea, if you think you might be threatened with an attack sometime in non-specific future, to attack your possible enemy first. The only limitation to this rule is that it only applies to the United States of America. No other sovereign state is allowed to use it, especially Iraq.

The popular American view of international law is that it is divided into jurisdictions, the United States and the not-the-United-States. Let me make one thing clear. I am not talking about Kyoto or any other treaties to which the US may or may not agree. I'm not even talking about the United Nations, endless streams of resolutions, and vetoes on the Security Council. Set all of these aside and there is still a body of the law of nations that is older than the modern nation-state itself. (Admittedly this is not very old in the whole scheme of world history, which would no doubt surprise some readers.)

One of these time-honoured rules is that if you go and breach someone else's sovereign territory with armed force, you are the bad guy. You can defend you own territory and even the territory of your ally, should he be attacked. You can even mass troops at your own borders and the borders of your allies because you have intelligence that a bad guy is about to attack, so he can be repelled with maximum force and then, and only then, breach his borders to destroy his ability to make another incursion. (This makes the first Gulf War legitimate - remember, my problem is with our choice of allies.) And, by the way, you should destroy his ability to make war, not tell him to do it and then make him prove that he has done it.

But you cannot say, "He might one day attack me, so I will attack him now." That makes you the bad guy. Especially if you are the only one allowed to do it because this new rule applies only to you.

There. I've said my piece. My only real contribution to all of this is to pray. Amidst all the wars and rumours of wars, there are pressing things to tend to here.

© Copyright 2000-2003 David Holford All Rights Reserved.