Conversation Corner
St. Francis of Assisi, Patron of Peace

Does the military action the U.S. is contemplating against Iraq meet the standards of a just war?


Date: 3/23/2003 10:18:31 PM
Name or Pseudonym: ChangPF
Subject: Manipulating the Truth

Below is an interesting editorial from the Hong Kong Standard that American Catholics who trust their president more than their God:

There is an old saying that ``the first casualty when war comes is truth’’. Ironically, that quote is attributed to Hiram WJohnson, a staunchly isolationist senator for California, in 1917.

Today, as we watch the US-led invasion of Iraq unfold on our television screens, that saying still rings true.

The US government has a long history of manipulating the truth - even outright lying - in order to win public approval for its military adventures.

This war is no exception.

We have said before that the United States has not proven a credible link between the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda nor has it produced clear and incontrovertible evidence Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. And where was the threat to the security of the US?

There are other forces at play here than simply ridding Iraq of its dictator. Perhaps, in time, the truth will come out.

But, for now, President GeorgeW Bush has his war and he is already admitting it may take longer and cost more than first thought.

There is a very real fear that, unless there is a quick collapse of the Baghdad regime, the US and its coalition partners (Britain and Australia) may be dragged into a more protracted conflict - something the military planners desperately want to avoid.

Both sides are using television to meet their own ends. Iraq shows pictures of civilians injured by the intense US bombing campaign.

For its part, the coalition paints a campaign that is going according to plan with its armoured columns fast approaching Baghdad. But what happens then?

What happens if the bombing campaign fails in its objective to bring down the Iraqi regime? What sort of resistance will the coalition forces then meet?

We have already seen coalition forces meeting resistance in the south around the deepwater port of Umm Qasr.

Far from throwing down their weapons and surrendering en masse, the Iraqi military is fighting back. And these soldiers are just members of the regular army and not Saddam Hussein’s elite Republican Guards.

It is questionable whether the people of Iraq really see the American-led coalition as true liberators of their country.

The US, once a supporter of the Baghdad regime, is not trusted even by the Iraqi exiles.

Indeed, there are many Arab leaders who seriously question Washington’s motives.

They see the invasion of Iraq as being part of a bigger picture for the region. What that picture looks like remains to be seen. But the liberation of Iraq will only be part of the truth. (Source:

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