Maggie Gallagher
What I do not get about the anti-war advocates is the moral fervor. I can understand people who oppose the war out of prudence: We cannot be general liberators of the world, and what will happen in the Mideast once we oust the deadly (and perhaps now dead?) dictator of Baghdad? But how could any decent person not feel, at the very least, morally queasy at the idea of leaving the Iraqi people in the murderous hands of Saddam Hussein?

Yet here is the Rev. Bob Edgars, general secretary of the National Council of Churches, equating clergy who support the war to Pharisees who wanted to execute Jesus. A letter writer asks me that, now that a thousand civilians (his estimate) have died, how can I still support the war? I guess the 200,000 or so Iraqis that Saddam slaughters each year never appeared on al-Jazeera, so they do not count.

They are dancing in the streets of Karbala. The Iraqi Ayatollah Ali Mohammed Sistani issues the first pro-U.S. fatwa in memory, urging believers to "help bring this war against the tyrant to a successful end for the Iraqi people," according to The Wall Street Journal. The people of Iraq are ratting out their captors. The Iraqi minister of information is learning the limits of the post-modernist critique of truth.

Yet there is Kofi Annan announcing solemnly that if a post-war Iraqi government wants legitimacy, the United Nations will have to be involved. Polls show European public opinion continues to harden against the U.S.-led war.

Why? An essay by just-war theorist Michael Walzer in a new book, "The New Killing Fields: Massacre and the Politics of Intervention," points to one reason: "The United States and NATO generate suspicion among the sorts of people who are called 'idealists' because of their readiness to act unilaterally and their presumed imperial ambitions; the U.N. generates skepticism among the sort of people who are called 'realists' because of its political weakness and military ineffectiveness."


Maggie Gallagher

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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