The pragmatists, led by former Vice President Gore, fear that an American-led attack would be too messy, too destabilizing, and too diplomatically costly (Novak), at least if it lacked the United Nations' blessing. Those arguments may or may not be right, but it's a hard call. .
Iraq protesters believe an attack would be immoral. Specifically, they believe that America particularly if it acted without a U.N. mandate, though possibly even if it acted with one would, by killing many people in an act of unprovoked aggression, be guilty of at best an abuse of power, and at worst a war crime. .
The objection here goes beyond the technicalities of Security Council resolutions, and beyond international law, whatever that is. The question is fundamental: If America uses naked aggression as an implement of foreign policy, is it not a rogue nation? .
Eight years ago the Clinton administration brought home a piece of paper from North Korea promising peace in our time (Coyne). In exchange for diplomatic recognition, 500,000 tons a year of heavy fuel oil, and a pair of nuclear reactors, the Stalinist regime of Kim Jong Il agreed to dismantle its burgeoning nuclear weapons program, and to allow international inspectors full access to its stockpiles of plutonium, to verify that these were not being used to manufacture a bomb.
The so-called Agreed Framework, brokered with the help of Jimmy Carter, the former president and winner of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, was hailed by The New York Times as "a resounding triumph"(Coyne). Defying impatient hawks and other skeptics who accused the Clinton administration of gullibility and warned that North Korea was simply stalling while it built more bombs. negotiators had instead taken the path of peace. If the North fulfills its commitments, this negotiation could become a textbook case on how to curb the spread of nuclear arms. North Korea has what Iraq dreams of.