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War needs to be for right reasons

Although weapons inspectors have landed in Iraq and are preparing to conduct their U.N.-mandated investigation, the possibility of war is long from gone, given President Bush’s not-so-subtle commitment to a regime change in Iraq. But if Bush must go to war, he needs to provide the correct rationale and motives. Chancellor Albert Carnesale, a former adviser to the federal government on national security, does. Carnesale does not believe a war in Iraq should be launched with the sole purpose of ousting Saddam Hussein — he believes the purpose of military involvement should be to secure disarmament. In an interview this week, the chancellor said Bush has several “lessons” to learn, including gaining both congressional and international approval before attacking Iraq, and ensuring he doesn’t force Hussein and Iraq to fight to the death because that itself might prod them to use weapons they may not have wanted to use before. He acknowledged Bush has learned the first two, but still needs to work on the third. If the president’s motivation behind the war is ensuring national security, he’ll allow the United Nations to determine the level of threat Iraq poses and declare war only if weapons development is found. Otherwise, he has no reason to oust Hussein on the basis of a national security threat to the United States.

University Wire U. of California — Los Angeles