Iran has recently released a new document stating its position on its own national security. Here are some quotes: “[W]e will not hesitate to act alone, if necessary, to exercise our right of self-defense by acting preemptively against such [states or groups], to prevent them from doing harm against our people and our country.”
“[Iran] has long maintained the option of preemptive actions to counter a sufficient threat to our national security. The greater the threat, the greater is the risk of inaction—and the more compelling the case for taking anticipatory action to defend ourselves, even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy’s attack. To forestall or prevent such hostile acts by our adversaries, [we] will, if necessary, act preemptively.”
“We will always proceed deliberately, weighing the consequences of our actions. . . . The purpose of our actions will always be to eliminate a specific threat to [us] or our allies and friends. The reasons for our actions will be clear, the force measured, and the cause just.”
The international community, including Israel, the U.S., and most delegates to the United Nations expressed outraged.
I lied. This document is not Iranian—it’s from The National Security Strategy for the U.S. as published by the Bush administration in September 2002, while making a case for invading Iraq. You can see it at http://www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/nss.pdf. Does it still make us outraged? It should.
Preventive war was the justification most of the Nazi’s cited in defense at Nuremberg for starting World War II.
A few related quotes from General-then-President Dwight D. Eisenhower:
“All of us have heard this term ‘preventive war’ since the earliest days of Hitler. I recall that is about the first time I heard it. In this day and time…I don’t believe there is such a thing; and, frankly, I wouldn’t even listen to anyone seriously that came in and talked about such a thing.”
“When people speak to you about a preventive war, you tell them to go and fight it. After my experience, I have come to hate war.”
“If all that Americans want is security, they can go to prison. They’ll have enough to eat, a bed and a roof over their heads. But if an American wants to preserve his dignity and his equality as a human being, he must not bow his neck to any dictatorial government.”
“Here in America we are descended in blood and in spirit from revolutionists and rebels – men and women who dare to dissent from accepted doctrine. As their heirs, may we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion.”