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Preemptive strikes as policy


            
             through countless administrations, Republican and Democrat, war has always been a last resort to violence, not a first response to political and democratic turmoil. Our current president has presented the nation with a new doctrine, justifying preemptive U.S. strikes against any regime that the administration fears is a threat to attack the U.S. or our allies, most currently aimed at Iraq.
             An American campaign of preemptive strikes to overthrow the Iraqi regime would be an unjust, aggressive, imperialist war and have potentially disastrous effects on our alliances, the existing international system, and the prospect of general peace and stability in the world.
             When questioning the legality of a war one would ask if it is an act of aggression or self-defense. There are criteria for judging actions as such, called the just war criteria that seeks to determine under what conditions and by what means war is morally justifiable (Donald L. Davidson). Based on general international politics and the just war criteria an unwritten contemporary understanding as to what is permissible to justify a preemptive war can be established. .
             One must give reasonable evidence that the action was necessary, forced upon the initiators by its opponent, and that it was the lesser evil; that the dangers averted by war outweighed those by inaction. This requires that the treat be clear and imminent, prompt action is required to meet it. Direct, threatening party initiated the conflict in specific concrete ways, entitling one to act preemptively. Critical, vital interests of those acting preemptively face unacceptable harm and danger. And unmanageable, not able to be deterred, or dealt with by other peaceful means (Neta C. Crawford). This criterion is open to interpretation but represents a general accepted international opinion of what determines the illegitimacy or justifiability of a preemptive war.
             In their attempt prove a clear and imminent threat from Iraq the administration, president, and supporters persistently insist that Sadaam Hussein has long wanted weapons of mass destruction (herein referred to as WMD) and tried to develop them, prevented U.


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