Saturday, January 28, 2006

So many flaws, so little time

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2006/1/28/20658/6235

Based on your knowledge of history - and particularly Vietnam - what parallels do you see now with the war in Iraq?

There were certain aspects of what was going on with Hussein that seemed obvious to me were lies right from the beginning. Even so, I did assume he had some WMD's. It seemed plausible enough that they would have kept some; we knew they had them before - not nuclear but chemical and biological. Saddam seemed to be acting in an evasive way, at least the way it was reported, not cooperating fully with Blix and the others. And our government seemed so sure and so precise about that, that I didn't think they'd stick their necks out to be that positive on the WMD's that they didn't have some fairly solid evidence. So I was assuming they did have that.

What seemed absurd from the very beginning was to say that that constituted an immediate danger to the United States. If they retained even a large quantity of chemical weapons and biological weapons, there seemed no reason to think that they would use those weapons unless they were attacked. By the same token, if they were attacked, it seemed all too plausible that they would use them - in fact, almost certain. It made the decision look, in that respect, terribly reckless to me, almost insane.

What seems even more absurd, is the idea that we would let the question of whether Saddam had WMDs act as a deterring factor in our foreign policy. When someone threatens to kill you, you are obligated by millions of years of evolution to remove that threat as immediately as possible. Sometimes a tactical delay is appropriate, but moving the analogy to Iraq, we already had a 12 year "tactical delay" in place.

That said, one fear we were concerned about was Iraqi WMDs leaking to terrorists, *not* the chance that Iraq may use a WMD against the US directly. This Ellsberg guy might be taken seriously if he were to deal with the *actual* concerns which were important at the time, not his fairyland wishlist of what an idiot would have been concerned about at the time.

Don't avoid the question, Ellsberg, even if it plays popularly on Kos.

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