Towards a taxonomy Part II

Some additional pro-war positions on the War on Terror and the war in Iraq have been pointed out to me. The first position is one held by by a number of bloggers who characterize themselves as “liberal hawks” including Kevin Drum and Matthew Yglesias. Drum writes:

It’s unfortunate that the Bush administration is so suspicious of the value of the UN, because this is a case where UN support would be valuable to us (and, in turn, why UN support for the war would also be valuable). While it’s true that the U.S. is the only country with the military muscle to invade Iraq, the UN is probably a better choice for long term post-war reconstruction because (a) it commits them to helping pay for it, (b) they have more experience at it than we do, and (c) the rest of the Arab world is more likely to cooperate with the UN than with an American administrator that they distrust.

To be honest I thought I had a better citation than this. I would appreciate being directed to similar citations, particularly by Matthew Yglesias or Josh Marshall who appear to have held similar views.

Another position is articulated by Peter Beinart in The New Republic’s special issue Iraq: Were We Wrong?:

This magazine supported the Iraq war for two reasons, one primarily strategic, one primarily moral. The strategic reason was simple: We considered war the only way to ensure that Saddam Hussein never acquired a nuclear weapon.

Revelations about the limitations of intelligence in the matter of Saddam’s actual nuclear programs have subsequently caused Beinart and, presumably, others who hold his position to go a bit wobbly. But the moral issues remains:

But, if our strategic rationale for war has collapsed, our moral one has not. In the ’90s, this magazine supported military intervention to prevent slaughter in Bosnia, Kosovo, and (unsuccessfully) Rwanda. And, in the process, we learned that stopping genocide brings unexpected rewards. Because the United States went to war twice in the Balkans, southeastern Europe is now largely at peace, increasingly democratic, and slowly integrating into Europe. By contrast, in Rwanda, where the United States stood by, genocide’s aftershocks have helped plunge much of Central Africa into war, killing millions and destabilizing an entire region.

I suspect that the TNR link may evaporate so I’ve archived a copy of this editorial for reference.

I have yet to identify a prominent blogger holding precisely this position. I would appreciate any citations on this subject.

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