To the editor:
The two letters published in January 2005 defending the U.S. invasion of Iraq failed to take into account the basic fact that the war was illegal under international law. The relevant U.N. resolution 1441 contained the words “serious consequences,” which authorized only sanctions. The U.S. did not obtain a resolution stating “all necessary means,” which would have authorized war.
The war was also not justified as a defense of the U.S. against (weapons of mass destruction) or terrorists. Official investigations found that Iraq neither had WMD nor did it help the terrorists of 9/11. The Pope repeatedly condemned the invasion as contrary to church teaching, since it did not meet even the requirements of Augustine’s just war analysis, not to speak of Jesus’ command to “love your enemies.” In light of those facts, how can the loss of thousands of innocent civilians caught in the crossfire ever be justified?