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A Matter of PrincipleHumanitarian Arguments for War in Iraq$
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Thomas Cushman, Gary Marx, and Christine Williams

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780520244863

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520244863.001.0001

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Wielding the Moral Club

Wielding the Moral Club

(p.152) 9 Wielding the Moral Club
A Matter of Principle

Ian Buruma

University of California Press

This chapter discusses the different opinions and criticisms, mostly apathetic, made by media personalities on the war in Iraq. Those who opposed it have perfectly valid reasons to be critical of US foreign policy, especially the neoconservative revolutionary mission. Those men who backed the decision of Bush know what it is like to live under the cosh. In an article published just before the Iraq war started, Ramos-Horta remembers how the Western powers “redeemed themselves” by freeing East Timor from its oppressors with armed force and asked why the Iraqis should not be liberated too. He has stated a case that must be answered. Unless, of course, one really believes that the problems of faraway peoples are for them to solve alone, and that we have no business intervening on their behalf against tyrants, and that any attempt to do so has to be, by definition, racist, or colonialist, or venal.

Keywords:   Iraq war, US foreign policy, Bush, neoconservative revolutionary mission, Western powers, moral authority, tyrants

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