Friday September 12, 2014
Truth #1: “We have not yet detected specific plotting against our homeland.” This is an extremely important admission to understand. If there is no specific plot against America then America must by definition be acting pre-emptively to wage war on the organization known as the “Islamic State.” Whether you think that is a good thing or a bad thing, it is by definition, the truth.
Truth #2: “ISIL poses a threat to the people of Iraq and Syria and the broader Middle East.” This is undoubtedly true. If American politicians wanted to combat such a threat, it would make sense to cooperate with the governments of both Iraq and Syria. The fact that the United States has thus far absolutely refused to cooperate with the government of Syria should make you search for underlying motivations for American intervention that are perhaps less obvious.
Truth #3: “Last month I ordered our [the American] military to take targeted action [to drop bombs] against ISIL to stop its advances. Since then we’ve conducted over 150 successful airstrikes on Iraq.” This is undoubtedly true. The questions Americans should ask themselves are both procedural and moral. First, what procedures are used to authorize such action? Second, are there any transparent principles that unilaterally apply when deciding to exercise the use of violent force? Third, is the use of violent force morally justified in these circumstances?