As Colin Powell and other diplomats meet tomorrow at the UN to present the Bush Administration's case for war with Iraq, cameras will no doubt record their entrances, walking by a huge baby-blue UN banner. That banner conceals a reproduction of Pablo Picasso's painting Guernica, which depicts the horror of Spanish civilians as they're bombed bu Fascist aircraft during the Spanish Civil War.
No, it wouldn't do at all to have a reminder of the horror war brings to civilians.
There are those who contend that the inevitable civilian casualties of Bush's upcoming war are regrettable but justified, as failing to attack Saddam would result in the deaths of American citizens in an Iraqi--or Iraqi-sponsored--attack. The problem is, I simply don't see such an imminent threat, nor any evidence that inasmuch as such a threat exists, Saddam can't be contained and deterred as he has been for a decade.
Certainly the US needs to ensure that Iraq doesn't pose a threat. Certainly all right-thinking people should oppose Saddam. And I do acknowledge that there are circumstances that warrant military action--although "military action" does not necessarily mean "invasion." (Question: If the Bush Administration has intel on proscribed WMD sites, why hasn't it launched airstrikes to take them out under the "preemption" doctrine?) But in light of information that the US may strike Iraq with as many as 800 cruise missiles in 48 hours--twice the number as in the entire Gulf War I--if we're going to get all Guenrica on the civilians of Iraq, I'd prefer it be demonstrably the option of necessity, not choice, and last not first, resort.