Thursday, March 16, 2006

Bush Threatens Pre-Emptive Use of Force

Although it is probably just empty rhetoric, it is nice to see our president say this:
Undaunted by the difficult war in Iraq, President Bush reaffirmed his strike-first policy against terrorists and enemy nations on Thursday and said Iran may pose the biggest challenge for America.

In a 49-page national security report, the president said diplomacy is the U.S. preference in halting the spread of nuclear and other heinous weapons.

"If necessary, however, under long-standing principles of self defense, we do not rule out the use of force before attacks occur -- even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy's attack," Bush wrote.
Of course, as I argue in All For One, the attacks have already occurred and are ongoing, so any use of force wouldn't be preventive, but reactive. Nonetheless, I agree with the principle that the use of preventive force is both moral and necessary when we are being openly threatened by hostile nations -- even if they had never (yet) physically harmed us. (This principle is the same as that which applies when a mugger threatens you, i.e. you have every right to use force before he does.)

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