Friday, January 02, 2004

EU could have averted war 

So says the headline of this article from South Africa's News 24.

Rome - A politically united Europe could have prevented the war on Iraq, according to European Union Commission President Romano Prodi, quoted in an interview published on Friday in the Italian daily La Repubblica.

"If Europe had been present and united, I believe, we would not have seen the war on Iraq," Prodi said, adding "Then we would have managed to find a solution to preserve the peace."

Such an attitude assumes that peace is always the best state of things. Peace IS a wonderful thing. The best of all possible worlds, in a Panglossian kind of way. Nobody is going to say that they absolutely prefer war over peace. But most of Europe seems to have forgotten that sometimes war is necessary. (Hint: War is responsible for your freedom, Europe. Not sure why you would so readily deny that benefit to others.)

"Peace," in the sense Prodi uses it, really means "lack of war." I would hardly call Saddam Hussein's Iraq a place of "peace." It was a violent and dangerous place for those who dared speak a word against the regime, and even for some who were simply in the wrong place when one of Saddam's hideous sons passed by. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed by that regime, but apparently Prodi and his ilk prefer that "peace" to the real peace that will be the final outcome of the U.S.-led liberation. I don't want to predict how this war will be viewed by history, but my gut says that the anti-war crowd will be a footnote to what will be seen as a very successful and world-altering effort.
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