Mister Pterodactyl
Friday, November 21, 2003
The other day, I caught some of a CNN interview with anti-war/anti-Bush person Bianca Jagger (Bianca Jagger?). She said all the usual things; illegal war, no WMD, embarrassment, quagmire, should have gone to the UN, etc. Here's the thing: can't these people get some new ideas? These old bromides must have sentimental value.
Had the UN held Iraq to the 1991 ceasefire agreement, maybe this wouldn't be happening. Had certain members of the Security Council not acted in bad faith (yeah, I'm looking at you, France) regarding Resolution 1441, it might not be happening. As it is, Hussein was allowed to frustrate the inspectors for years, and the Council was split by nations less interested in pressuring Hussein to comply, and more interested in obstructing the efforts of the U.S. and others to do so. I can only speculate as to their reasons. France (told you) is especially culpable; when Colin Powell went back to the UNSC seeking a new resolution to replace 1441, one that would spell out Iraq's obligations and specify penalties for noncompliance, France declared that it would veto any resolution containing a trigger for the use of force, thus rendering any passable resolution useless, while at the same time making a de facto admission that Hussein was unlikely to comply anyway (if they believed that Hussein could be made to disarm peacefully, they could have backed a resolution that included said trigger expecting it never to be used, thus saving everyone a lot of grief).
So lets talk about terrorism. No links to al Qaeda or 9-11? Fine. Let's talk about bounties paid to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers, or the attempt on Bush Sr.'s life when he visited Kuwait in 1993, or the Iraq army unit dedicated to the assassinations of enemies of the regime, both in Iraq and abroad.
Lets talk about the UN. Wait, we already did. As long as certain other members of the Security Council are obsessed with promoting themselves as world powers at the expense of the USA, the UN is going to be useless.
Lets talk about WMD. There was good reason to believe it was there. It was there in 1991. It was still there in 1998, when the inspectors were kicked out. Why should we believe that it was no longer there in 2003? Why would Hussein pretend? Don't tell me there was no proof; it was Hussein's task to provide proof. Why didn't he?
It's true that the administration spun things, so much so that they wound up feeding ammunition to the opposition. They emphasized WMD (and again, there was good reason to believe that it existed, even though it hasn't been found). They mentioned Iraq and al Qaeda in the same breath countless times, to link those things in American minds. They did these things to the exclusion of other, better reasons, eschewing a more sophisticated argument for a simpler, more provocative one (that sort of condescension toward the American people has been, IMO, the President's greatest weakness). But that better argument is there for the seeing.
So please, all you well-meaning pacifists, all you liberals pissed off about the election or Halliburton or whatever, PLEASE find something else to complain about. The old stuff doesn't resonate with anyone but you. If you want to change minds, change your own first.
By the way; if you really think Iraq is another Vietnam, it's only because you want it to be one.

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