Mar 032003

To the Editor:

According to a recent poll conducted by Knight Ridder, 50 percent of the people surveyed believe that one or more of the Sept. 11 hijackers were Iraqi citizens.

Although the article reporting these results goes on to try to water down the embarrassing results of the poll by pointing out the Saddam Hussein is the sort of person who would give help to terrorists, the poll is proof-positive that the American people, generally, are politically and historically illiterate. The poll, of course, does not stand on its own as proof, but is part of a web of evidence that Americans do not need facts to justify their moral and political positions.

Many people claim the United Nations Security Council mandates Iraqi “no-fly zones” even though Secretary-General Kofi Annan regularly reports the flights of United States and British forces as illegal incursions into Iraq. (These reports are available for anyone to read through the United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission, which can be found on the UN’s Web site.)

And many Americans, from our highest government official down to the citizen on the street, believe that UN resolution 1441 provides the justification for military intervention in Iraq, even though the resolution is not valid under the UN Charter.

Americans are making the most important of moral decisions, whether or not to go to war and kill hundreds of thousands of people, and they are making their judgments in ignorance. While it is true that our government officials may have access to information we do not, we cannot make our moral judgments based on trusting the demonstrably corrupt. (In fact, that we are not privy to a great deal is part of the moral reasoning behind why we cannot give our consent to preemptive wars and wars of law enforcement.)

The American people cannot, therefore, make a morally worthy judgment except to oppose the war.

Micah Cavaleri

Fort Collins resident

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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