Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Hail to Fredonia! the Bush Administration Adopts a Marxist (Brothers') Approach to War-Making in Iraq. (Margin Notes)

Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Hail to Fredonia! the Bush Administration Adopts a Marxist (Brothers') Approach to War-Making in Iraq. (Margin Notes)

Article excerpt

"TO WAR, TO WAR, TO WAR WE'RE GONNA GO! A-high-dee-high-dee-high-dee-high-dee-high-dee-high-dee-ho!" Forgive my giddiness, but I can't help turning over that delirium-inducing dance sequence from the Marx Brothers' Duck Soup in my mind these days.

Who can blame me when each morn the good old New York Times carries the latest in a series of progressively ominous "leaks" related to America's willfully inevitable showdown with Iraq? So far the war drums along the Potomac haven't quite generated the same enthusiasm for mayhem the Marx Brothers achieved among the citizenry of Fredonia, but amid all the dark insinuations about Iraq's "weapons of mass destruction," they might as well roll out the dancing generals and see what happens.

But before CNN starts rolling tapes of Iraqis spearing infants on bayonets, can we all step back a minute and take a deep breath? Does anyone besides the Bush administration want this war to happen? Are we sending our soldiers off to die and kill to secure our national security or to satisfy some inchoate longing to get even with a man who has made a career--and a regime--out of thumbing his nose at the U.S. in general and the Bush family in particular? How dangerous is Saddam Hussein really, and what are the many possible--and toxic--outcomes of Gulf War II?

We've been told for more than a decade what an evil man Hussein is. Case closed--not even the most patchouli-addled of pacifists want to break bread with him. But keeping a lid on Hussein's ambitions and scheming doesn't require 250,000 ground troops and cloudbursts of cluster bombs.

The Catholic Church teaches that the use of arms must not produce disorders graver than the evil intended to be eliminated. Western-leaning Arab leaders, amid assertions that their territory will not be made available for a U.S. invasion force, assure U.S. policymakers that a "preemptive" attack on Iraq--preemptive apparently serving here as a newly coined synonym for "unprovoked"--will only deepen Islamic hostility to the U.S. and lead Western civ into truly uncharted territory. Radical Islamic rebellions in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan are among some of the worst-case scenarios one can only hope Washington warmongers are taking into consideration as they work out the subtle details of U. …

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