Extra Innings Iraq Debate - -
The debate over whether we should or should not have gone to war in Iraq pops up in the most interesting of places. It’s hard to believe but this ‘leak’ is defining people just as starkly than the actual war in Iraq did. Read Eric Margolis
today, especially his closing argument.
“Real patriots do not start wars to win elections while diverting attention from financial scandals.
CIA chief Tenet ought to come out and denounce those who led the U.S. into an unnecessary war that has become a bloody and unimaginably expensive mess.
But CIA officers are trained to remain silent and obey the chain of command.
So it's up to Congress to demand a full investigation of the corruption of national security, and of the extremist ideologists who misled America into a war that should never have been waged.”
There is so much wrong with Mr. Margolis’ piece I don’t know where to start. I guess with the idea that it has been politically advantageous to fight war. I doubt it ever has been truly a winning platform to fight wars. Now disagree with the war in question, call it a mistake but a “bloody and unimaginably expensive mess.” Now whose diverting attention?
I think most agree that the outing of CIA agents is a terrible thing and someone will have to pay for that. But I think suggesting that Bush misled America into war is an outrageous charge. Blair is backing down from this war, and neither should Bush.
And Margolis rather vague applause to French intelligence is rather amusing too.
“The CIA does deserve sharp criticism over Iraq. It had a shocking lack of reliable human intelligence there, forcing the agency to rely heavily on dubious defectors and foreign intelligence, rather than its own resources.
Ironically, France had excellent intelligence in Iraq and rightly warned Bush his war would lead to disaster. Bush was too busy listening to the neo-conservatives' hyped intelligence to heed France's excellent and reliable advice.”
Surely France’s sources couldn’t have been any better, unless they were based upon the inside information from Baghdad itself. And isn’t that intelligence dubious in itself? Of course it is. I have a hard time taking Margolis’ piece as anything but an extension of his pre-invasion anti-war stance. And if anyone thinks that the things beyond simply the WMD issue like Saddam’s regime of terror and the laundry list of other reasons outlined by Bush and Blair before the war weren’t reason enough to go to war, you have to wonder what would be? Would the forces against this war ever feel the need to use force?
Listen to Prime Minister Blair’s
“Imagine you are PM. And you receive this intelligence. And not just about Iraq. But about the whole murky trade in WMD. And one thing we know. Not from intelligence. But from historical fact. That Saddam's regime has not just developed but used such weapons gassing thousands of his own people. And has lied about it consistently, concealing it for years even under the noses of the UN Inspectors. And I see the terrorism and the trade in WMD growing. And I look at Saddam's country and I see its people in torment ground underfoot by his and his sons' brutality and wickedness. So what do I do? Say "I've got the intelligence but I've a hunch its wrong?" Leave Saddam in place but now with the world's democracies humiliated and him emboldened? You see, I believe the security threat of the 21st century is not countries waging conventional war. I believe that in today's interdependent world the threat is chaos. It is fanaticism defeating reason. Suppose the terrorists repeated September 11th or worse. Suppose they got hold of a chemical or biological or nuclear dirty bomb; and if they could, they would. What then?”
In all seriousness we better home we did overestimate the threat. Because if Saddam’s weapons have vanished and into that murky trade and into the heart of terror central, then we really will not no until attacked what he had.
As Clifford May
adds, “What's more, every reputable intelligence service in the world — including the French
— believed Saddam's WMD programs were ongoing in this period. So what did happen over the last dozen years? One possibility is that sometime before the Gulf war, Part Two, he transferred his stockpiles — to Syria, Lebanon or elsewhere. A number of knowledgeable analysts believe this frightening scenario. Let's hope it isn't true.”