Whether some dicator is justified in seeking WMD is not the point. My point is that under certain conditions, the worst of the worst dictators ought to be prevented from owning WMD.
You're missing the point. Just who gets to decide who the "worst of dictators" are in the first place? Who sets themselves up on high above all other nations and makes that determination? By what right? Unless you're ready to say "the UN", any answer you could give would be utterly arbitrary. The rules either apply to everyone, or no one.
It is also true that it would be extremely foolish to invade a nuclear power under any but the most extraordinary circumstances. Yes, this combination of facts could cause someone to seek the near invulnerability that nukes confer. That fact however does not alter the correctness of the preceding two sentences.
There is no correctness in the preceding two sentences because they imply at "right" that neither you nor anyone else actually possesses.
To me this seems to imply that you believe Hussein, et al., were not evil. So, I will ask you again if you intended to claim that they were not.
Again the point seems to elude you. "What is evil?", to paraphrase. Are the things Saddam was doing in his own country yesterday somehow measurably worse than the things yours is doing in it today? So tell me, then... what's evil?
What you are saying does not alter the fact that there are some dictators so abhorrent that it would be foolish to allow them to accumulate WMD.
No, I was saying that the United States has no moral right to deny to others a capacity it claims itself. If you don't want other people to have the Bomb, give it up yourself. Otherwise, live with the precedent you've set, and no bitching when others follow your example. This "evil dictators" dividing line that, first of all, you have no right to set, and secondly, can and obviously would be drawn anywhere in the sand convenient to the United States at any given moment, is threadbare rhetorical hypocrisy.
I have consistently stated that the reason for the invasion was to protect us and our allies against the danger of WMD.
And where are they, exactly?
What you are saying here is like saying that becuase I think that I have the right to own a gun, I am a hypocrite if I think that a serial killer should be prevented from owning a gun.
Guy's not a serial killer till he actually kills someone; you see, that's the problem here. Is Saddam ruthless? Yes. But aside from annexing Texas -- I mean, Kuwait -- what has he ever done outside his own country? Has he overturned inconvenient Latin American governments, like in Guatemala, or Panama, or Chile, or lately Venezuela so they don't euroize their oil production? Did he interfere in, and thus exacerbate, a civil war in Vietnam? Did he drop nuclear weapons on Japanese cities and vapourize about a quarter million civilians?
Yeah, tell us all about serial killers who shouldn't have guns now.
No. Self-preservation gives us the right.
Then it stands to reason that self-preservation -- particularly in the face of an overawing imperialist power willing and able to use force against other nations -- grants everyone else the right to arm with weapons that, as you yourself have admitted, make it unlikely that they would be invaded in the first place
. Number one thing here is you have to understand that there is no right exclusive to you
. Any right you claim to yourself implies a parallel right for someone else. The behaviour of the United States in recent times is not but the best reason for every other country on Earth to arm itself with nukes. Maybe it hasn't occurred to you yet that pouring napalm on the water is no way to cool it down.
By owning a gun (if I did), I would not be abdicating the right to try to stop a serial killer or some other dangerous person from owning one.
Nothing in gun ownership implies the right or even the capacity of determining who else is qualified for gun ownership.
I assert that if a country ruled by a terrible dictator... who has ties to terrorism
who tries to annex his neighbors, etc.
You mean like, oh, northern Mexico, Hawaii, Canada, Cuba, etc.? That kind of thing?
has had WMD and WMD programs
One single WMD smuggled into a large American or allied city and used could kill a number of people that would make 9/11 look very tiny indeed.
Yeah, so can a single army arriving in Baghdad. But those people don't count, after all. They're not white, and they don't even speak English, so who cares what they're hilariously babbling about in those 9-second FOX News soundbites anyway? Oh, wait... by extension, I appear to be putting words in your oblivious, monstrously self-absorbed mouth again, saying the things you ultimately mean but could never actually say. So sorry.
He does have the right to act in self-defense, but if his character strongly suggests that he would be likely to use the weapons offensively for conquest, then that is another matter.
Yeah, next thing you know, he could load his army on ships and invade a nation that never attacked him.
He purposely gassed Kurdish civilians. He invaded Iran and apparently used chemical weapons on them.
Yawwwwwn, boring, General Sheridan... we wanna hear the story of your campaign in the Shenandoah Valley!
He attempted to annex Kuwait.
I'm sorry to interrupt your story, General Scott, but them Mexicans ain't gonna conquer themselves. Saddle up!