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10/07/2004 11:23:00 PM | Timothy

The Logic of Justifying Bush's war
Mark Kleiman writes:
Let's see if I have this straight:

1. The invasion of Iraq, and its timing, were justified by the risk that, if we waited, Iraq would acquire and stockpile more WMDs and more delivery vehicles, or alternatively supply them to terrorist organizations.

2. The chief U.S. weapons inspector has now reported that Iraq, at the time of the invasion, had no chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons and no capacity for producing any, but that Saddam Hussein remained intent on procuring them once sanctions were lifted.

3. No one was in fact proposing lifing sanctions at the time of the invasion.

4. After the release of the report, the President of the United States says that "There was a risk, a real risk, that Saddam Hussein would pass weapons or materials or information to terrorist networks."

5. The Vice President of the United States says that the report shows that "delay ... was not an option."

Right. There was a real risk that Iraq would give things he didn't actually have to terrorists. And the finding that SH had an intention of doing something in the future when and if sanctions were lifted meant that leaving the sanctions in place and waiting before invading "was not an option."
Update: Mark Kleiman continues "I'm no Krauthammer." Well, Charles Krauthammer himself on Fox News just said something that would respond to Kleiman. Krauthammer said that the sanctions regime was slipping away, day by day. And I think it deserves a response (one Kleiman does not go into). Even if it was true the sanctions regime was slipping away under the Clinton administration, and keeping 'Saddam in a box' was not sustainable in the long term, acting immediately when the administration did was NOT a necessity. I remember many people arguing AT THE TIME, before the U.S. went to war, that we should wait, build alliances, let the inspections process continue and assess later whether an invasion was necessary and wise. Krauthammer was talking about the regime was being undermined during the Clinton administrationm, so it was ridiculous to think the sanctions regime was going to collapse in May 2004. (Oh, here's one post that caught on my eye on the corner)



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