The Moral Case Against the Iraq War by Paul Savoy was written in the heat of the 2004 US Presidential campaign when Americans were still ambivalent over their true, enlightened stand over the Iraq War. The paper does not include recent developments in American political life such as the victory of the Democrats in Congress and Senate which was viewed as a an indirect repudiation by the American people of the President Bush’s policy of winning the war, notwithstanding his much criticized plan of sending more US troops to the war-torn country despite the marked increase in sectarian violence and relentless attacks on coalition forces in almost all parts of Iraq.
More so, Savoy’s article did not include a recent statistical research by eminent American professors and academic on the true number of Iraqi deaths which allegedly number to more than half a million deaths already. This research has been severely criticized by President Bush himself and his war policymakers yet it has given further basis to force and pressure the Bush administration to finally withdraw US troops and leave Iraq for good. These developments, notwithstanding, Savoy’s article continues to be relevant in the struggle of the American people to finally put a close to the vicious web of lies the Bush administration foisted upon our people to legitimize their war on Iraq.
The Moral Case Against Iraq articulates in detail the basis of the continuing opposition of the world and the American people to the war. While it is true that Saddam Hussein is a vicious tyrant and deserved to be punished for his crimes against the Iraqi people, it is not for the United States to impose on the Iraqi people of such a necessity as such a process of ousting a murderous dictator is subsumed under a people’s right to self-determination which not even the world’s only superpower can force.
Such coercion through a war of aggression is not only immoral in the face of our people’s concern for the fundamental right to life but is also bereft of any legitimacy in international law, including overriding the peace-making processes of the United Nations. On the other hand, the article also lambasts the false basis for the war – the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, which, President Bush says, would be used to attack the American mainland. Since 2003 up to now, no weapons of mass destruction has ever been found in Saddam’s military and scientific facilities, save for evidence of the existence of depleted uranium shells being used by American troops in bombing Iraqi villages and towns.
In all of these, however, the relentless deaths of the Iraqi people in the hands of American troops and even through sectarian violence is the best argument against the war. As security forces in Iraq have failed in curbing violence, the cycle of bombings and assassinations have been an everyday affair, and no other culprit exists for this perpetuation of violence but the decision of sending troops to Iraq in 2003.
In a constitutional sense and even in moral contemplation, the relentless killing of innocent civilians, even if accidental and collateral, can never be justified just so we as a people can sleep well every night, especially when the basis for such a war has been falsified by our government. It destroys our country as the bastion of constitutionalism, rationality and human rights and reduces our leaders, in the same category as all the other tyrants who ever existed in contemporary world history.
- Savoy, Paul. “The Moral Case Against the Iraq War.” The Nation. May 31, 2004. March 20, 2007 http://www.thenation.com/doc/20040531/savoy.