Father Jonathan Morris of Fox News gives another lecture on the “moral justification” for staying the course in Iraq.

“Beware of sweeping moral judgments on the Iraq war — pro or con –,” he says, “based solely on new findings of weapons of mass destruction. It’s not so simple.”

Under the fold: actually, it’s real simple…

In “WMD Found in Iraq,” Father John gives us snippets of the announcements by Senators Rich Santorum (R Pennsylvania) and Pete Hoekstra (R Michigan) that yes, we have found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.  He then adds the disclaimer by the senior Defense Department official that “These are not the WMDs for which this country went to war.”

Father John neglects to mention that we’ve known about the presence of old WMD left over from the Iran-Iraq war for years.  The September 2004 Director of Central Intelligence report on Iraq’s WMD program stated “While a small number of old, abandoned chemical munitions have been discovered, ISG judges that Iraq unilaterally destroyed its undeclared chemical weapons stockpile in 1991.”

But that makes no never mind, according to Father Jon, because “Whether the decision to enter Iraq in March of 2003 was a good one has little to do with the good work our soldiers are doing right now.”

Well now, that’s just not true.  Whatever the reasons were for invading Iraq–and for me the overwhelming burden of evidence says the motivation was oil, bases, and Israel–we did not go there so our troops could paint schoolhouses and play soccer with Iraqi kids.  

“Those who say we should leave now because we should never have entered in the first place are acting out of emotion or for political gain, but certainly not based on sound principle.  Packing up and leaving from one day to the next, as some are requesting, would be an irresponsible and selfish act of cowardice on the part of the allied forces,” the good Father says.  

Morris has mastered the Rovewellian art of the straw man attack.  Why we went there and why we should leave, though both important issues, are separate ones.  No one in the political arena, including John Murtha, is suggesting that we “pack up and leave from one day to the next.”  They’re suggesting that we formulate an exit strategy based on “sound principle.”  Judge for yourself on the morality of Father Jon labeling Murtha, Kerry, Reid, and those who support them as “selfish cowards.”

And it’s interesting that while Father Jon accuses those proposing a sane plan for withdrawal of seeking “political gain,” he has nothing to say about the political timing of the WMD announcements by Santorum and Hoekstra.  

But he does use the “new findings” of WMD to conclude that “We now know more about Saddam’s diabolic regime” (we didn’t already know Saddam used chemical weapons on Iran?) and that “We question again the efficiency of the many years of United Nations’ weapon inspections” (Father Jon doesn’t bother to mention that UN chief weapons inspector Hans Blix raised concerns over the whereabouts of the Iran-Iraq War chemical weapons prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq).  

Oh, There’s an Election Coming Up?

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is about to give a press conference on the “home grown” terrorist cell indicted in Miami.  

Ah, here’s ‘Berto, talking about “a new brand of terrorism” and referring to the cell taken down earlier this month in Toronto.  

Does anybody else wonder why these cells are just now being discovered?  

In another timely story, General George Casey says that Iran’s central government is aiding Shiite terrorists in Iraq.  

Look for the fear factor to grow as November approaches, and don’t be surprised when the tallest Arab ever wanted “dead or alive” by a United States President turns up sometime in August or September.  

I’ll leave it to God to make the ultimate moral judgment of Father Jonathan Morris, but my worldly assessment is that this self-styled “ethicist” is a right wing political hack trying to hide his agenda behind a clerical collar.  


Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes from Virginia Beach, Virginia.  Read his weekday commentaries at ePluribus Media and Pen and Sword.

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