Down yonder, a commenter writes regarding going to war with Iraq because Saddam was perceived to possess WMDs:
[T]his is a red herring since Iraq is a sovereign State and has as much right to WMDs as any other State.
I strongly disagree. States no more have equal rights to weaponry than individuals do.
I don’t care how much a fan of the Second Amendment one is (and I am a big fan of it, myself), the fact is that not all people have a moral or a legal right to have deadly weapons. Homicidally insane individuals have no moral right (and, one hopes, no civil right) to possess deadly weapons. A responsible person may be able to handle a gun responsibly, and the possession of guns by such people appears to actually decrease the crime rate (actually, not just in theory) because burglars don’t want to break into homes knowing that they may be facing an armed homeowner. But the homicidally insane by definition are not responsible and not capable of possessing firearms without posing a grave danger to the community. They cannot be trusted with the power that such weapons represent because they have too great a risk of misusing it. The community has no obligation to allow such individuals to possess deadly weapons.
In the same way, the community of nations has no obligation to allow homicidally unstable nation states to possess WMDs. Prescinding from the question of whether such weapons should exist, it is clear that if they are to exist that not all nations have an equal moral right to them. If any nations are to have them then it must be those nations that have the maturity, stability, and sense of moral conscience not to use the recklessly or indiscriminately. Those nations should not possess such weapons that are unstable, immature, or evil enough that they stand a good chance of (a) proliferating such weapons to unstables states, (b) passing them to terrorists, (c) using them recklessly, or (d) collapsing into chaos.
Applying this to the present situation, regardless of what one may think of particular instances in the U.S.’s record (which is not perfect; the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were wrong), it remains the case that the U.S. is (d) a stable nation (not likely to become a "failed state" like Somalia) that (c) has a large number of citizens *today* who will not tolerate leaders who use such weapons indiscriminately (as at Hiroshima and Nagasaki) and (b) will not pass them to terrorists or (a) proliferate them to unstable states. It also has a sixty-year record of possessing WMDs, much of that period in a tense face-off with the Soviet Union, without using them.
One could fault this or that in U.S. history, but the fact remains that the U.S. has a far greater claim to being the kind of nation that can trusted to possess WMDs than Saddam Hussein’s Iraq (or any Middle Eastern country).