This volume of essays about the ongoing crisis concerning Iraq is written from the perspective of the "thoughtful opposition." German and American scholars from diverse backgrounds--moral theology, policy analysis, political science, Middle Eastern history--all criticize, albeit sometimes for different reasons, unilateral U.S. military action against Iraq.
The chapters are uniformly free of intemperate language and careless argumentation characteristic of much opposition to American foreign policy. The authors address the moral, legal, political, or historical dimensions of the Iraq problem. They also assess the threat Saddam Hussein represents to his region and the world as well as the prospects for alternative strategies. The reasoning is well-informed, sensitive to complexity, and attentive to detail.
Contributions include: Klaus Dicke, "Peace Through International Law and the Case of Iraq"; Hans J. Giessmann, "The Dubious Legitimacy of Preventive Military Action against Iraq"; John Langan, "Is Attacking Iraq a Good Idea?" and "Is There a Just Cause for War against Iraq?"; Gerhard Beestermller, "The United States: Legitimate Authority for War against Iraq?"; Drew Christiansen, "Holy See Policy towards Iraq"; Henner Frtig, "Iraq: How Severe is the Threat?"; and David Cortright, Alistair Millar, and George A. Lopez, "Sanctions, Inspections and Containment. Viable Policy Options in Iraq."
While Iraq: Threat and Response may not be welcomed by uncritical supporters of U.S. policy, it is a reasoned, compassionate exploration of alternatives to military action in Iraq. The volume is clearly designed to strengthen opposition to unilateral action in the United States and abroad. It will be of great interest to students of foreign policy, military studies, and the Middle East.
Gerhard Beestermller is deputy director of the Catholic Institute for Theology and Peace, near Hamburg. His focus of research is political ethics and peace ethics.
David Little is T.J. Dermot Dunphy Professor of the Practice in Religion, Ethnicity, and International Conflict and director of Initiatives in Religion and Public Life at Harvard Divinity School. He is the author, with Scott W. Hibbard, of Islamic Activism and U.S. Foreign Policy.