February 12, 2004
William Safire's Revised Reasons for War

William Safire in yesterday's New York Times tries to dress up the increasingly revised reasons for the mistaken war in Iraq.

Of the liberation's three casus belli, one was to stop mass
murder, bloodier than in Kosovo; we are finding horrific
mass graves in Iraq. Another was informed suspicion that a
clear link existed between world terror and Saddam; this
terrorist plea for Qaeda reinforcements to kill Iraqi
democracy is the smoking gun proving that.

The third was a reasoned judgment that Saddam had a
bioweapon that could wipe out a city; in time, we are
likely to find a buried suitcase containing that, too.  

Stop mass murder? That is a revisionist reason... or a reason given after the fact. There are many cases of mass murder going on in the world and no one seriously believes this is a reason we invaded a sovereign, mostly Muslim, country with a lot of oil.

I like the sentence which ends "informed suspicion that a clear link existed between world terror and Saddam". I am sure we did not send 250,000 troops into a sovereign Muslim country because of a suspicion, however well informed. Even President W acknowledged 6 months ago that there was no link at the time of Sep 11. I am sure there is now! Ansar al-Islam was fighting the Kurds but was otherwise thought of as insignificant in global terms. Our invasion of Iraq has given them a bigger cause worth fighting for.

The third "reasoned judgment" that "Saddam had a bioweapon that could wipe out a city" is a little harder to argue with... but only a little. At one time Iraq obviously had WMDs because we gave them Anthrax and a number of other dangerous substances. And obviously he had "capability to run WMD weapons programs" because Iraq has some scientists... and making highly dangerous toxins is not very difficult.

The invasion has done nothing to make us "safe". It is a casus belli for militant Muslims to rally round and it is no doubt making it much easier for anti-western, anti-US terrorists to recruit; therefore, it has made us less safe. We are well prepared for a battlefield war so we seek our enemy on a battlefield and amongst Iraq civilians. Waging this war on a battlefield makes the enemy stronger.

Posted by tstubbs at February 12, 2004 03:26 PM
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