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Using of force against the Iraqi regime is justified to prevent a greater evil

By Geoff Hines - posted Wednesday, 16 April 2003

One is getting increasingly concerned that there are a number of Christians and others who are currently advocating that we should not be involved in an Iraq war at all, whether it is sanctioned by the United Nations or not. All of us want peace. I am sure nobody will disagree with that statement. But there comes a time when evil must be stopped and it is better to do that sooner rather than later. The history lessons of the 1930s have surely taught us that. Sometimes it requires force to be used to prevent even greater harm. We are in that situation now. By stating openly that we should not be involved in any war with Iraq is only giving succour and support to the evil dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. There is such a thing as a holy and just war. Taking action by force is justified by preventing even greater harm and hurt in the future.

We have been waiting now for over ten years for Saddam to get rid of his weapons of mass destruction. The US and its allies, fighting under the United Nations' authority, permitted his regime to survive after the Gulf War on the explicit undertaking that he disarm after his invasion of Kuwait was stopped. He did not do this and the United Nations allowed him to escape his obligations then. There is an extremely high price to pay for appeasement to aggressors, and countries like France and Germany should well understand that. To follow the appeasement route, as some are suggesting, will expose the United Nations to the sorry irrelevance of its predecessor, the League of Nations. The latter found every excuse to appease tyranny in the 1930's and look where that left us!

The United States is striving to enforce United Nations resolution 1441 on Iraqi disarmament and at the moment is receiving strong support from the Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom and Australia, who come from opposite sides of the political spectrum. Dr Blix, the Chief Weapons Inspector, and his team, are receiving very little cooperation from the Iraqi regime and Saddam continues to defy resolution 1441. Exerting pressure for the enforcement of this resolution on Iraqi disarmament will ensure that the United Nations remains relevant and does not disappear into insignificance like the old League of Nations. Even Kofi Annan recognised the importance of this when he said two weeks ago that the UN weapons inspectors would not be in Iraq if the US had not deployed military forces to be on standby in the Middle East.


The action proposed by numerous Christian leaders and others is exactly how Neville Chamberlain behaved in the 1930's with his "Peace in our time" comment, whilst at the same time Hitler was preparing strongly for war. During that period, Winston Churchill was being heavily criticised as being a "warmonger" as he made speech after speech in the House of Commons trying to bring the situation in Germany to everyone's attention. Finally, the United Kingdom and the rest of the world turned to him as the Leader who eventually forced the downfall of the Nazi regime, but only after six years of world war with enormous casualties and destruction. History teaches us valuable lessons.

As a country, Australia is supporting the initiative of the US and the UK, because if the international community retreats from ensuring that disarmament takes place in Iraq, then this will send a strong message to any other rogue state. The whole authority of the UN will be lost and who might be next? North Korea? Iraq may seem an incredibly long way away to the average Australian, but North Korea is almost on our doorstep.

What John Howard is doing now is providing strong leadership in difficult times and is working in the nation's interest, his aim being for a peaceful world. He is trying to make sure we do not have World War III. It is not unchristian to support what he is doing - and I know of a number of very committed Christians who support this point of view. He wants to avoid war if at all possible. That can easily be achieved if Saddam were to cooperate fully with the weapons inspectors and explain how and where he has disposed of his weapons of mass destruction and the materials to make them. If he does not do this, then a small war now might be a better alternative to a holocaust later.

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This article was first published in <a href=""><i>The Courier-Mail</i></a> on 13 February 2003.

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About the Author

Geoff Hines is the managing director of Hines Management Consultants, an executive search and recruitment company in Queensland, which he founded in 1983.

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