Tuesday, August 10, 2004


I have recently been alerted to a couple of older posts by "Godless" of "Gene Expression" (see here and here) that provide an interesting retrospective on the reasons for the Iraq war. The fact that Saddam was twice previously well on the way to acquiring nukes certainly makes the suspicion that he might have had them or nearly have had them in 2003 eminently reasonable. Taking a risk on him not having them would have been crazy -- whether you were a neocon or just a traditional old cautious conservative. We were lucky that Saddam was just bluffing and did not, in fact, have anything much. He would probably have used it otherwise. He had used both missiles and poison gas on previous occasions.

Under the heading "Camelot Texas-style", a post on PID dated August 8th (permalinks bloggered) is also of interest. He looks at the Leftist view that the Bush administration was the victim of "groupthink" in its pre-invasion acceptance of allegedly faulty intelligence about Saddam Hussein's weaponry. He ends up however with the excellent point that many key jobs in the Bush administration were Clinton holdovers so the idea of an inward-looking, one-eyed, conformist group of Bush yes-men mulling over policy pays scant regard to the evidence. And the argument also makes the assumption that GWB & Co. believed all the intelligence they were given. That is an unnecessary assumption. As mentioned above, the fact is that no responsible Commander in Chief could have afforded to DIS-believe the intelligence coming in. Even if GWB and his advisors doubted the assessments they were given -- and I give ANY politician credit for tons of cynicism -- they could not afford to take the risk of standing idly by. Saddam's play-acting with the weapons inspectors had lots of people other than GWB (including many prominent Democrats) convinced that he had serious stuff to hide so any risk of such stuff falling into the hands of terrorists had to be prevented by any means available.


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