The French goal (if it is not to protect itself from terrorism by cannily aiding Iraq against the West) appears to be merely to prevent Saddam Hussein from acquiring the means to conduct conventional wars of aggression against its neighbors. The American goal is to prevent Hussein (and warn similar dictators) from allying with international terrorists to develop and deliver weapons of mass destruction that might hit our shores and those of our allies.
As for the Iraqi people, every day of delay is another day of terror, tyranny and abject subjection, which France and its allies call taking the moral high ground. There are worse things than war, as Jose Ramos-Horta, minister of affairs in East Timor (freed by a global peacekeeping force in 1999) reminds us: "It would certainly be a better world if war were not necessary. Yet I also remember the desperation and anger I felt when the rest of the world chose to ignore the tragedy that was drowning my people. We begged a foreign power to free us from oppression, by force if necessary." Or, as a Kosovar intellectual put it, "I am a pacifist. But I was happy, I felt liberated, when I saw NATO bombs falling."
Maggie Gallagher is a nationally syndicated columnist, a leading voice in the new marriage movement and co-author of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially.
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