Monday, September 30, 2002


Rich Lowry has a good piece on the Deterrence Argument vis. Iraq -- that is, that Saddam will not employ Weapons of Mass Destruction because of the threat that we will annihilate Baghdad in response.

Lowry does a good job of refuting this argument. But Kenneth Pollack, in his book which I linked below, does an even better job. He refutes the Deterrence Argument in principle and then by example. For instance...

Imagine it's 2007. Saddam has by now acquired a small nuclear arsenal. Being sane, he has no illusions about using his arsenal against New York, D.C., etc., as this would most certainly invite an overwhelming response by the U.S. Besides, there is no real reason for Saddam to do so: it doesn't further his purposes. But what does further his purposes and ambitions is taking Kuwait, something we well know he is willing to do. So...

Iraq repeats 1990 and invades Kuwait, with little problem. But this time, he warns the U.S. not to attack his forces, because if we do, he will employ his small nuclear arsenal (or a portion thereof) against the oil fields of Saudi Arabia, thereby reducing the world's oil production by some 22% (Polluck's figure) and thereby plunging the world economy into a recession or even a depression (as Polluck points out, the oil embargo of the early 70's which had such an impact on our economy saw a lessening of oil production of only some 2%).

Now what is the U.S. to do? Allow Saddam to invade his tiny neighbor and thereby gain even more control over Middle East oil and continue in his desire for Middle East dominance, or risk a worldwide depression by attacking Saddam's forces? Hardly a choice any president would want to face. But it is a very plausible one, if we chose deterrence over regime change.
Interview with Archbishop Dolan

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has an interview with Archbishop Dolan. Good, heartening reading.
The Euros aren't happy

The Washington Post has an article today on how the Europeans aren't happy with the direction the Bush administration has been taking vis. multilateral institutions and coalitions.

Frankly, I'm frustrated and exasperated by all of this. Take the situation with Iraq. The Europeans are apparently unhappy because we've told them to get on board or step aside. Well, what do they want? The Bush Administration (and others -- see the excellent article by Stanley Kurtz on the new book by Kenneth Pollack, The Threatening Storm: the Case for Invading Iraq) has laid out a clear case for regime change, now. We believe that it is in the best interests of our nation, the Middle East, and the world that Saddam be removed from power. And we believe that it is particularly urgent that we take action soon. Europe (apparently) disagrees. So what are we supposed to do? Nothing, simply because some (many) of our allies don't see the urgency? I don't think so.

I'm convinced that the President is right about Saddam and Iraq. He has to go, for a number of reasons. I wish that others would see that, but if they don't, then we must act alone. I don't think Bush relishes the idea of going it alone, but if no one choses to join us, then he doesn't have any choice, does he?

Friday, September 27, 2002

Paul VI's Dominus Iesus-esque language

While reading Pope Paul VI's excellent Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi (On Evangelization In The Modern World), written in 1975, I came across this gem:

"In other words, our religion [Christianity] effective establishes with God an authentic and living relationship which the other religions do not succeed in doing, even though they have, as it were, their arms stretched out towards heaven."

Wow! This is the sort of thing that got the Vatican in trouble with those with a misunderstanding of ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue when Dominus Iesus came out two years ago. I wonder what sort of a reading it got back in '75. If any.

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

When Unconditional Isn't

The White House website has a nice press release which shows how conditional prior Iraqi promises of unconditionality (is that a word?) are.
New Judicial Nominee on Roe v. Wade

Michael McConnell is Bush's nominee for the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. According to this Byron York piece, he stands a good chance of being confirmed, in spite of he's strong public opposition to Roe v. Wade (I'm going to avoid commenting on how that is possible, for now).

The WSJ's online editorial page-plus, Opinion Journal, today posted some of McConnell's past columns which the WSJ published, among them, this 1998 article on the illegitimacy of Roe v. Wade. He does an excellent job in pointing out how the Court settled de facto the very question which it said no one else had and therefore it couldn't -- the humanity of the fetus -- by stating that abortion is protected by the (nebulous) Constitutional right to privacy. After all, if abortion is a "private" affair, that means -- by definition -- that it does not "abridge the rights of a nonconsenting third party" (McConnell's words), and that statement cannot be made unless you first conclude that the fetus is not a nonconsenting third party, a question the Court said it couldn't answer!