As the United States prepared recently to use its military force on Iraq, some Americans argued (some yelled and chanted) that such a measure is inexcusable, since it would result in the death of innocent Iraqis, particularly children. This plea to spare innocent human life is actually a sanction for its destruction in America.

Like any free, civilized nation that values its survival, America’s foreign policy must branch out from the moral root of rational self-interest. The only purpose of its military is to protect its citizens and their rational self-interest from foreign aggressors. When aggressors are demonstrated to be a direct, destructive threat to Americans and their interest, as Saddam Hussein continues to be, self-defensive military measures must be taken to incapacitate or destroy that threat from materializing into action.

That Saddam Hussein has been a murderous dictator of innocent Iraqis is enough to warrant one’s entire distrust of him. But in the aftermath of his defeat in the Gulf War (which he initiated), instead of ceasing his dictatorial rule, American and U.N. “leaders” nevertheless trusted him to abide by their demands. Since then he has consistently defied a series of “agreements” with them, all of which never provokes their entire distrust of him.

Hussein is a greater immediate threat to Americans than dictatorships such as China and North Korea, since he holds valuable oil reserves and threatens to cease such reserves in neighboring Middle Eastern nations. Due to its politicians past appeasement of all these Arab nations and to environmentalists who have shackled the domestic oil and nuclear power industries, America has had to become largely dependent on those nations for this crucial commodity.

As he continues to denounce America as a primary enemy, Hussein is rebuilding his military power by producing chemical and biological weapons, such as anthrax spores and botulin toxin. His record of supporting international terrorists, who he is capable of sending here to unleash these weapons, greatly elevates his threat to Americans.

Saddam Hussein is thereby an international criminal who clearly threatens American lives and their rational self-interests. He can be likened to a domestic criminal — a murderous terrorist — who is a threat to his family (Iraqis), his neighbors (Kuwait) and others (America and Israel), and therefore must be captured from his house, arrested, executed. Since our “leaders” cower at the prospect of such action, then force to incapacitate or destroy his weaponry must be used. If this requires that innocent Iraqis die, America’s military, whose purpose is to protect innocent Americans from such aggressors, must nevertheless proceed with these measures despite the unfortunate but necessary consequences

To save the lives of innocent Americans during World War II, America’s military had to bomb the aggressor nation of Japan despite its innocent citizens. The British had to protect their innocents by bombing Nazi aggressors along with innocent German children. These were legitimate, just uses of force for the purposes of protecting innocents living under freedom. That those totalitarian regimes harbored innocents was not a legitimate excuse to shackle any free, civilized nation’s use of self-defense against them.

The pacifists who now invoke the deaths of innocent children as their sole or primary argument against America’s use of such force on Iraq, attempt to destroy crucial distinctions. They attempt to unjustly grant innocent Iraqi children the same status of value to Americans as their own children, so that America can be smeared as the potential aggressor and murderer of children. However, to Americans — as must be true of any free, civilized people whose unwarranted destruction is threatened by aggressor nations — the lives of their children must be of exclusive value over those of Iraqi children.

Ultimately, through their destruction of crucial distinctions, these pacifists attempt to make America share or take complete responsibility for the possible deaths of innocent Iraqis, when the person who would be solely responsible is Saddam Hussein.