Iraq war: President still hasn't made the case
Back in the Sept. 12, 2002 issue of The Catholic Herald, I wrote an editorial with the title: "Iraq war: President has not made the case." Now almost five months later, the president has still not convinced me that we need to invade Iraq.
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As our paper was going to press this week, United Nations chief weapons inspector Hans Blix was giving a progress report to the U.N. Security Council. On Tuesday of this week, President Bush was to deliver his State of the Union address. He was expected to give the American public more information on why he considers Saddam Hussein a threat to the world.
War not necessary. The president has to do a lot of talking to convince me - and many other concerned citizens - that war is necessary. Recent polls show that a majority of Americans agree with me. President Bush has not made his case for military conflict in Iraq.
As I said before, we must exhaust diplomatic efforts through the United Nations. We should not act unilaterally but seek the support of other nations before taking any action. Yes, we have the backing of Great Britain, but many other influential nations do not side with the United States. Even people in neighboring Kuwait seem to be balking at a U.S. invasion.
Appeals for peace. Pope John Paul II has continued to appeal for peace in the Mideast. On Sunday, Jan. 26, he watched as two doves were released from his window over St. Peter's Square in Rome. The pope said the doves were a symbol "offering everybody a message of fraternity and hope."
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (par. 2308) says, "All citizens and all governments are obliged to work for the avoidance of war." Only after all peace efforts have failed can governments wage war for "legitimate defense," says the Catechism.
What can we do? Here are some suggestions for those concerned about possible war with Iraq:
Pray daily for a peaceful solution to this conflict. Prayer can move mountains and it should be our first action.
Contact President Bush directly with a letter (The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20500), phone call (comment line: 202-456-1111), e-mail (whitehouse.gov). Tell him your personal opinion on this vital issue.
If you are so inclined, take part in the Wisconsin Pre-Emptive Peace Day to be held Saturday, Feb. 1, in Madison. People will gather at the UW Library Mall at the corner of State and Lake Streets at 11 a.m. for a Peace Parade to the state Capitol. For more information on this event - organized by a coalition of groups for peace with justice - go to www.madpeace.org.
Mary C. Uhler