I want to add that if we don’t find WMDs in Iraq I, for one, will be majorly ticked. Despite what shifting winds of agitprop for the war blew through the national consciousness, the *real* reason for this war was not to liberate Iraqis. That was a happy side effect which was then seized on as a club in order to beat down problematic anti-war moral authorities like JPII (“Obviously, the Pope cares nothing for the suffering of the Iraqi people! Once again, Messiah America will have to shoulder the burden of being the conscience of the world out of the sheer goodness of it’s great big heart while conniving European America-despisers like John Paul do nothing!”).
That dog doesn’t hunt in my book. The Catholic Church has, after all, been suffering along with the Iraqi people, on the ground in Iraq, through ten years of American support for Saddam followed by ten years American neglect. Our extremely sudden growth of a conscience about suffering Iraqis and our nauseating moral posturing vis a vis John Paul’s alleged callous neglect was one of the more sickening moments of agitprop during the war.
No. The *real* reason we undertook this war is quite simple (and quite honorable in my book): we didn’t want a repeat of 9/11 or something worse. I have no problem with that and think the war justified on those grounds.
But… if the weapons of mass destruction we were *assured* exist did not, in fact, exist and if it is shown that our government *knew* they did not when we undertook this war, then I think the Bush administration will indeed have waged unjust war and killed a great many innocent Iraqis to no serious purpose of national interest. They will, also, by the way, have lied through their teeth to us and I will never trust them again.
To those who will inevitably reply “Would I rather Iraq remain the terror state it was” I can only say that the precedent we will have set by waging an aggressive war without real defensive justification will, in the end, help to foster many more terror states, all of whom will say, as we did, that they have the right to impose regime change on countries weaker than themselves, not because those weaker countries really pose a threat, but just because they can. The shorthand for this is “Might makes right.” It is against this pagan ethic that all the truth of God is arrayed.
Of course, all this depends on what the WMD search reveals. I still tend to think WMDs will be found. But if not, we pro-war Catholics had better do some serious soul-searching and not fall into the trap David Mills points out of thinking, “We won! So that proves we were right.”