An Anglican bishop has broken with his British colleagues and says use of force against Iraq could be justified. Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali is Pakistani-born from a Muslim family and was a contender last year for the office of Archbishop of Canterbury, the spiritual leader of the Church of England.
Bishop Nazir-Ali, regarded in church circles as an expert on Islam, wrote: “It would be desirable, surely, to seek a UN mandate … but if the security council produces irrefutable evidence of a material breach of its own resolutions but fails to act, national governments may judge that such a breach constituted a threat to their security and that of the region. They could then be justified in taking action.
“Pre-emptive action could be justified … if such a state was forbidden by international sanction from possessing such weapons, if it had a past record and present involvement in the use of such weapons … and if there was reliable intelligence that it intended to use [them] against us and our allies.
“While we pray for peace, we need to recognise that the Iraqi regime may have to be disarmed by force.”
Another clergyman who recognizes the logic and danger inherent in Saddam’s Iraq. He doesn’t embrace war, but acknowledges it as a necessary tool that must be used judiciously. I think I’ve used the analogy before, but consider that cutting off someone’s leg would be an act of violence in normal circumstances. But if the leg is diseased with gangrene, then the violence/force used on the person is wholly justified and to his benefit, despite the pain and suffering caused. The same with Iraq. If war brings pain and suffering to Iraq, it will also bring freedom and ultimately peace, not just for Iraqis but for Americans, Israelis, the whole region, and the whole world. Not complete peace, but at least more peace.