A few days ago, I wrote the following about the WMDs in Iraq, in the context of a government lying about a violent event to sway public opinion into beating the war drums:
we have the nonsense about WMDs in Iraq, that according to the Downing Street Memos turned out to be lies. Not “intelligence failures,” but utter, premeditated deceptions hoisted on the American public and the world. This is so well-documented that I won’t go into detail, but once again, a mistruth about a violent event swayed public opinion into a frenzy in favor of war.
It occurs to me that this isn’t quite right. The WMDs were not in fact a violent event; rather they referred to the possibility of a violent event. One cannot forget this; for the first time in history a war was launched because someone could attack another country.
This is significant, it is prevenge.
But the war against Iraq is not about rehabilitation, or even revenge. It is prevenge, retaliation for an act not yet committed.
And if revenge is wrong, prevenge is doubly so.