This isn't the first pre-emptive war Although I'm against the Iraq invasion, there are certain arguments coming from the anti-war camp that cause me to scratch my head. One of them is the argument that this is the first time America has ever engaged in a pre-emptive war. Yes, pre-emptive war is currently against international law. Yes, pre-emptive war is immoral. But this is hardly the first time. It's creepy how relevant that statement is one and a half centuries later. Of course, according to conservative arguments, we now have to brand Lincoln as "unpatriotic" don't we?