Thursday, January 22, 2004

Howard Dean

The focus of this blog and website is largely on Iraq and the Catholic just war tradition, but in following the presidential campaign I thought the following letter from Howard Dean was interesting, in light of his current opposition to the "unilateral" action of the Bush administration in Iraq:

". . . We must give, and have given, this policy with our allies and with the United Nations every opportunity to work. It is evident, however, that the cost in human lives in allowing this policy to continue is too great. In addition, and perhaps more importantly for the United States, we are now in a position of ignoring, as many did in the 1940s, one of the worst crimes committed in history. If we ignore these behaviors, no matter where they occur, our moral fiber as a people becomes weakened. As the Catholic Church and others lost credibility during the Holocaust for not speaking out, so will the United States lose credibility and our people lose confidence in themselves as moral beings if the United States does not take action.

Since it is clearly no longer possible to take action in conjunction with NATO and the United Nations, I have reluctantly concluded that we must take unilateral action. . . .

Howard Dean in a letter to President Clinton, dated July 19, 1995.
Reported in USA Today January 14, 2004.