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Saturday, October 4, 2003
WHY DID WE GO TO WAR WHEN WE DID?

Cincy Blog would like to know.

First off a little backup from Andrew Sullivan.


The administration claimed that Saddam had used WMDs in the past, had hidden materials from the United Nations, was hiding a continued program for weapons of mass destruction, and that we should act before the threat was imminent. The argument was that it was impossible to restrain Saddam Hussein unless he were removed from power and disarmed. The war was legally based on the premise that Saddam had clearly violated U.N. resolutions, was in open breach of such resolutions and was continuing to conceal his programs with the intent of restarting them in earnest once sanctions were lifted. Having read the report carefully, I'd say that the administration is vindicated in every single respect of that argument. This war wasn't just moral; it wasn't just prudent; it was justified on the very terms the administration laid out. And we don't know the half of it yet.

-- Andrew Sullivan

Now I'm not convinced that Saddam didn't have actual, physical, ready to kill millions, WMDs. There are reports everywhere that Saddam was shipping WMDs out all over the place. Kay himself has actually confirmed the dates and routes of some of these shipments, but says he can't confirm it was actually WMDs being shipped. But as I've said the physical WMDs aren't the end-all and be-all of war justification. We went to war because Saddam was blatantly disobeying UN resolutions. This report shows that Saddam was disobeying UN resolutions.

The only way we ever would have had the whole world on our side is if Saddam had actually used his weapons. If France and others had their way inspections would have continued indefinitely. In a world where WMDs are as attainable as they are we can't afford to wait until the threat is "imminent" and Bush laid that out leading up to the war.

From the State of the Union Address:


Our nation and the world must learn the lessons of the Korean Peninsula and not allow an even greater threat to rise up in Iraq.
...
Twelve years ago, Saddam Hussein faced the prospect of being the last casualty in a war he had started and lost. To spare himself, he agreed to disarm of all weapons of mass destruction. For the next 12 years, he systematically violated that agreement. He pursued chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, even while inspectors were in his country. Nothing to date has restrained him from his pursuit of these weapons -- not economic sanctions, not isolation from the civilized world, not even cruise missile strikes on his military facilities.
...
Before September the 11th, many in the world believed that Saddam Hussein could be contained. But chemical agents, lethal viruses and shadowy terrorist networks are not easily contained. Imagine those 19 hijackers with other weapons and other plans -- this time armed by Saddam Hussein. It would take one vial, one canister, one crate slipped into this country to bring a day of horror like none we have ever known. We will do everything in our power to make sure that that day never comes.
...
Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option.

-- White House

The threat was not imminent, but it was still a threat. France et al were completely unwilling to do anything firmly. There was no "If Saddam doesn't come clean in 3 months then it's ok." There was only "If Saddam doesn't come clean in 3 months then we can get back together and discuss it further." We attacked when we did because it appeared those opposing our timetable weren't opposing when we were doing it, but that we were doing it at all. Might it have been better if we had waited for a better postwar plan? Sure, but that's 20-20 hindsight talking. There was not a single person, either pro or anti, talking before the war about the postwar plan.

And as for this...


Now of course we know there were no weapons, just plans for weapons. There are "plans" for weapons at UC. Why don't we invade Clifton? Those evil Bearcats are a threat to my Redhawks, damn it!

-- Cincy Blog

The reason you don't invade Clifton is because UC didn't invade Oxford 12 years ago, lose, and promise to get rid of those plans in order to get Miami to stop shooting.

Though come to think of it that invading Oxford thing isn't such a bad idea... let me make a few calls. :)

Posted by Rob Bernard on Saturday, October 04, 2003 at 12:22 AM in War/Terrorism/Middle East
 
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