England's two leading archbishops, Williams of Canterbury and Murphy O'Connor of Westminster, have now stated their doubts both about the "moral legitimacy" and the "humanitarian consequences" of a war on Iraq.
In so doing they are expressing thoughts which occupy the mind of much of Middle England. "A second resolution" has become a sort of middle-class mantra, though it is clear that some of those who utter it do not know what Resolution 1441 says and could not suggest how another resolution might be framed to give the United States more authority to act than it possesses already. Those who dislike the idea of war have embraced the idea of the United Nations as a protection against their fears and antipathies.
Support for the UN is to be encouraged. For all its faults and failings, it has, particularly since the collapse of the Soviet Union terminated the almost reflexive use of the veto in the Security Council, been a force for good in the world. Opponents of war should bear in mind, however, that "force" is a metaphorical term when applied to the UN. The UN can deploy no force of its own, only that lent to it by member states. Resolution 1441, so much beloved by anti-war demonstrators, is an injunction on Iraq, moreover, and if it is ignored that is because the UN can deal in words only and looks to others to enforce its pronouncements.
It is the idea of enforcement that people such as the archbishops seem to deprecate. The idea evokes protests against "hundreds of thousands of casualties", by implication civilian, "massive destruction" of cities, and bloody combat in the streets. It is clear that people have very strong feelings about war, all negative. What some do not possess or seem unwilling to acquire is the ability to think about the reality of war in a clear and dispassionate way.
That is highly regrettable. War is occasionally a necessity. Even the United Nations Charter makes allowance for that fact. The UN itself would be of no use at all if its permanent staff reacted with reflex abhorrence to all propositions for the use of force. If a war against Saddam Hussein - and it will be against him and his entourage, not his oppressed people - does ensue, it can be taken as a virtual certainty that casualties will not be numbered in hundreds of thousands, that the cities will not be destroyed and that the invading force will avoid street fighting at all costs.
The war aim of the United States will be to overcome resistance as quickly and cheaply as possible, a perfectly attainable strategy, and then to destroy Saddam's stocks of forbidden weapons, which are the root of the whole trouble. No one should be blase about war, which is always horrible, but nor should we be wild in our estimates of its likely scale.
Is War a Necessary Evil?
Yes, I agree that war is a necessary evil. War is always going to be around because someone always has to take it too far or rebel against authority. War is just a way to keep those people inline and make sure they don’t do that. Most of the human race is stubborn, and when someone does something wrong we can’t talk it out the civil way. Yes war is uncivil, but it is necessary. War isn’t the monster people are.
What is mean by people are the real monsters is: everyone has a dark side even the nicest people have a dark side, but some of the people choose to let it show and others don’t. If everyone got along with everyone war wouldn’t exist, but I don’t see that happening. Someone is always going to end up hating someone else because people hold grudges and that’s just what they do. People will be people.
War is just a way to show other people or countries that you are better than them. When leaders fight with other leaders war is just a way of proving one’s self to another. Some people and countries are just too stupid to realize we are equal. That’s what God intended for us, but one person or country has to say that they are better than others. Again war is just a way to keep countries and people inline so they don’t do anything making themselves better than others.