Thursday, November 25, 2004

I find opposition to the war in Iraq perplexing, and my confusion is illustrated by a single rhetorical question: If you knew that your neighbor was sexually abusing his two year old daughter, would you do anything about it? It seems to me that most people would say "yes," either oout of a sense of abstract righteousness, or sympathy for the plight of an innocent. But Iraq was full of two year olds, and other children of many descriptions who were made to suffer torture and even died under the Hussein regime. The tragic photograoh from Hallabja more than excites an urge to protect innocent children. This is what makes opposition to the war in Iraq puzzling. Any explanation of such opposition that I have heard so far has been unconvincing at best and ignoble at worst. Are Iraqi children somehow less worthy of intervention because they are Muslim? Or brown skinned? No one on earth should be immune from our intervention, if we are able to do so, when they torture and kill children.

The oft cited canard that "We are not intervening in Sudan" or Iran, or the Ivory Coast or wherever is unsatisfying. Not being able to do everything that is right does not make doing what good you can wrong.