Saturday, June 25, 2005

Why Did We Attack Iraq?

Correspondents' Dinner 2004

Some commentators, like Michael Kinsley, insist that they knew we were going to war with Iraq at a time the the Preznit said we weren't, that war was "the last resort".They insist that we really knew better than to believe what the Preznit and his men were telling us. In hindsight,to me it was rather obvious, when we were reliably informed that air attacks were being unusually increased and thousands of soldiers were being moved up in aircraft carriers into the Gulf.

The Downing Street Memos have corroborated such observations about an early decision to go to war, as have witnesses inside The White House like Bob Woodward and Paul O'Neill.We have learned that the intelligence really didn't matter one way or the other. The decision to go to war was a fait accompli which exploited honest feelings of patriotism (from both sides of the aisle)for political gain. The general public, including so many journalists, were delirious to think our country was in danger from Saddam Hussein.

Why did we attack Iraq? When all the reasons offered by this adminstration, one by one, cave in, we still wonder, what was really their reason ? To them,war in Afghanistan seemed to be a mandatory requirement that must be dealt with so that we could move on to bigger things. Why couldn't we have put in a larger force specifically to bring Ben Laden to justice ? Surely our pal President Musharraf would understand.The search for Osama Bin Laden was a bipartisan matter that really was in no way foremost among the Bush Regime, at least in terms of their actions.Bush had the audacity to joke about looking for WMDs in front of a jolly, laughing press corps.

After the Memos,it is becoming undeniably clear. Why was attack so inevitable ? All that remains is Political Capital.Being a "war president" has such indisputable rewards. Even with the fairly recent example of Russia waging a quagmire in Afghanistan, insufficient planning was done by Bush's team for the outcomes of the Iraq attack.It is evident that Bush team thought we would get in and get out of Iraq quickly, making the President look like he was fighting terrorists.The only prewar terrorist activity that has been verified is Saddam's payments to suicide bomber's families from Palestine (they all hate the Jews, don't they?).The Preznit seems to value political capital above all else. Witness his summation of the 2004 election. He got what he wanted, and this was the message to him: enough of the voters have approved me over my opponent, so I will continue to do things the way I want, to "spend political capital." This interpretation of events makes Karl Rove's recent comments about liberals all the more base and despicable. Meanwhile, we all suffer and we are less safe by this distraction of a war.


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