December 19, 2005

Why are we in Iraq?

ZFacts has regarded Saddam as a tyrant since before the days when Rumsfeld was shaking his hand to sell him an oil pipeline. It was right to work for his removal and could have been right to use force against him. But this was done with an arrogant incompetence which has cost America and Iraq far more than it should have, and, as documented here, it was done by deceiving the American people and, quite possibly, the President.

Cheney wanted Iraq, while Bush wanted Bin Laden. He's still wanted, but Cheney's got Iraq. It wasn't easy to sell America this grand nation building adventure, but Cheney and his neocons started early&mdashsome in 1996 the rest in 1997. Until 9/11, most of their work was in the open.
Impacts: On U.S. and Iraq. Some costs are clear: lives lost and dollars spent. But is there clear evidence of its impact on American prestige and credibility? Iraq has benefited from the removal of Saddam, a horrible tyrant. That is no small benefit. Also, they have a start towards democracy. That is harder to assess. How powerful are the Iranian Shiites in the new government? How costly are the terrorist attacks and the economic chaos? Oil production is one measure.
Terrorism: Former counter-terrorist czar Richard Clarke is not the only one who believes that the War in Iraq has served to increase the terrorist threat to our nation. Meanwhile, al-Qaeda is alive and well.

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