James Lileks bleats about all sorts of things today, including something he calls the “Axis of Elvis.” Buried among all this is an interesting commentary on the anti-war movement:

No, no, no, NO; I̢۪m not saying all antiwar voices are vile or imbecilic. As I keep saying over and over and over again there are sensible arguments against the war, and while I don̢۪t agree with them I understand how smart, reasonable people believe that war is not the proper course. To be honest, though: lately I say this more out of habit than conviction. It̢۪s become something I feel obligated to say, because I do want to make a distinction between the sensible dissenters and the moral cripples who superimpose Bush̢۪s face on bin Laden̢۪s head and proclaim the president the real terrorist. But the dissenters̢۪ arguments grow thinner every day. No amount of Iraqi intransigence will dissuade the antiwar crowd from their belief that inspections will find everything eventually. They seem to think the US will apply the requisite military pressure for however many years it takes to disarm Iraq. Even if we find all the bugs, all the poison juice and nuke fuel, their best-case scenario still leaves Saddam and his sons in power. Yes, I̢۪ve heard the argument that lifting the sanctions will lead to a prosperous society that will rise up and overthrow Saddam. Someday.

Indeed. Actually, since I still hang around with academics from time to time, I know all sorts of intelligent people who oppose war with Iraq–including Wayne the Green Beret and others. I’m still not enthusiastic about it and it took me a long time to get off the fence. But it does strike me that most of the arguments against this particular war are arguments against war, period. Short of an Iraqi strike on our soil, at which point it’s damned near too late, I’m not sure what would be causus belli if we don’t have it yet.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.