Foolish me -- I've been reading Andrew Sullivan again:
I keep hearing from people who insist we should try "containment" of Iraq instead of war. They don't seem to have observed that we are where we are precisely because of twelve years of "containment".
You mean totally unmolested by Saddam's weapons? Yup, that's where we are after twelve years of containment, Andy.
...what can containment mean now? One thing it surely does mean is maintaining sanctions. As Tony Blair just noted, "The moral choice in relation to this is a moral choice that has to weigh up the moral consequences of war. But the alternative is to carry on with a sanctions regime which, because of the way Saddam Hussein implements it, leads to thousands of people dying needlessly in Iraq every year." Exactly.
Yes, it would be far more efficient if those civilians all died at once.
How odd that those who have long accused the West of murdering thousands of Iraqi babies because of sanctions now want to continue those sanctions indefinitely.
Yes, and how odd that the administration you praise as a moral force originally wanted to continue them as well.
But it seems to me that those who sincerely want to maintain the inspections farce and the sanctions tragedy need to be more honest in confronting the moral cost of this policy: not merely doing nothing credible to deter the threat to the West of weapons of mass destruction; not merely the signal to every terrorist and nuke-hungry dictator that the West is too weak to deal with them; not merely perpetuating and reinforcing one of the most hideous police states on the planet; not merely fatally undermining the credibility of the U.N.; but also maintaining the cruelty of famine for the next generation of Iraqi children. This is what the Pope apparently wants.
Hey, Andy, he's your Pope. I left the church at 14. Nobody's forcing you to stay.