Supporting the War in Iraq
from the American conception of liberty.

note: I have more to read than I realized, so this will be much shorter and less thorough than some of my other posts. But with the topic being as controversial and still (somewhat) timely as it is, I'm hoping it will spark a range of interesting commentary for me to read:)

The belief that each person, by virtue of their being human, is entitled to certain rights, name life, liberty, and tahe pursuit of happiness (rather than property ownership, as in the earlier version of the idea), is one that is commonly held by Americans--it is at the core of our country's philosophy. Since we hold these rights to be held in virtue of an individual's humanity, they extend to all people (according to this American belief), not just to citizens of the United States.

If the alleged human rights violations of Saddam Hussein's government are true (it looks like they are, but I'm trying not to accept any assumptions based on empirical fact), those individuals who do hold the American belief of human rights are able to condemn these violations as unjust and immoral. We are free to apply these standards to any country and any culture, and indeed we must, when accepting that human rights necessarily accompany the state of being human. The belief holds universally, so we cannot at the same time accept arguments of cultural relativity in regard to human rights.

And if, then, one would consider the war against Iraq as an effort to protect the human rights of Iraqi people being deprived of their rights by Saddam's government, the act of going to war would be justified as a sort of moral enforcement of human rights. This is not to say that the Bush administration portrayed the war in that way, or that this was their primary concern (or a concern at all). But whether or not the actual motivations behind an act that has positive consequences affects the morality of that act is a different question that I don't have time to address here, except to pose the possibility of claiming that though the motivations behind the act might be wrong, the act itself was permissible and even right because it helped to end immoral violations of human rights.

Remember, all of that argument is made under the assumption that we accept the idea of universal human rights, as well as the assumptions that Saddam's government did in fact violate those rights and that in post-war Iraq, those violations have been reduced.

Hope to get some debate on that one:)
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