Bush/Cheney claimed that The Iraq War was a preventive war.
Pope Benedict begs to differ.
"Politics and Economics: The 101 Courses You Wish You Had"
- 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, if we believe for one second that nuclear fission and fusion, that type of weapon, would be used in such a war — what is a preventive war?
I would say a preventive war, if the words mean anything, is to wage some sort of quick police action in order that you might avoid a terrific cataclysm of destruction later.
A preventive war, to my mind, is an impossibility today. How could you have one if one of its features would be several cities lying in ruins, several cities where many, many thousands of people would be dead and injured and mangled, the transportation systems destroyed, sanitation implements and systems all gone? That isn't preventive war; that is war.
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.
... It seems to me that when, by definition, a term is just ridiculous in itself, there is no use in going any further.
There are all sorts of reasons, moral and political and everything else, against this theory, but it is so completely unthinkable in today's conditions that I thought it is no use to go any further.
- News Conference of (11 August 1954)
- Variant: 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. War settles nothing.
- Quoted in Quote magazine (4 April 1965) and The Quotable Dwight D. Eisenhower (1967) edited by Elsie Gollagher, p. 219