Tuesday, August 01, 2006

President Dubya and Weapons of Mass Distortion in Iraq

In a previous blog post entitled Embryonic Stem Cell Research and Weapons of Mass Distortion, I mentioned briefly that the purported existence of Weapons of Mass Destruction (abbreviated WMD) was one of the many pretexts that President George Dubya used for the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Notwithstanding insidious suggestions and insinuations to the contrary, no evidence of WMDs was ever found in Iraq after Dubya launched his March 2003 invasion of that country, and neither can Dubya's invasion of Iraq be justified by Saddam Hussein's alleged failure to comply with the demands of United Nations (U.N.) weapons inspectors. Rather, long before the events of September 11th gave Dubya an opportunity to convince the United States Congress to give him the authority to invade Iraq, Dubya had set his sights on toppling Saddam's regime, and Dubya failed to give U.N. weapons inspectors the time that they wanted and needed to finish their work in Iraq.

The facts that I narrated in the paragraph above are a matter of public record, and yet a majority of Americans believe otherwise. Even among those who acknowledge these facts, there is a large contingent who believe that Dubya's invasion of Iraq can be justified as a means of effecting regime change. Herein lies the problem: Few Americans know why Dubya invaded Iraq, and even fewer care. And the reason for this sad state of affairs is that Dubya has become quite effective in his use of Weapons of Mass Distortion, also abbreviated WMD.

Make no mistake about it: The current sad state of affairs in Iraq is a direct consequence of Dubya's military adventurism. Given Osama bin Laden's involvement in September 11th, there are very few people who would find fault with Dubya for invading Afghanistan to capture bin Laden, and had Dubya finished the job he started in Afghanistan instead of invading Iraq, the world might actually be a safer place today. Indeed, had Dubya given U.N. weapons inspectors the time that they needed to complete their work in Iraq, the military buildup leading up to Dubya's invasion of Iraq could have been justified as well. However, Dubya seemed to believe that Iraq was going to be a quick victory that he could put in the win column before moving on to the next despotic evildoer. It is this sort of adventurist hubris that has overstretched the United States (U.S) military and put hundreds of thousands of U.S. soldiers in harms way.

The legality of Dubya's invasion of Iraq is often debated, with the most unlikely apologist for Dubya being former President Clinton. To wit, in an interview with Time Magazine in June 2004, Clinton said:
"I have repeatedly defended President Bush against the left on Iraq, even though I think he should have waited until the U.N. inspections were over."
For me, this is the crux of the matter. If Dubya had allowed the U.N. weapons inspectors to complete their work prior to his March 2003 invasion, the fact that there was no evidence of WMDs in Iraq would have undermined the primary rationale for launching an invasion.

While I am not privvy to the intelligence that Dubya relied upon in launching his invasion of Iraq, I find it hard to believe that Dubya sincerely believed that Saddam Hussein's regime presented a clear and present danger to the United States. Rather, I think that Dubya expected to find *SOME* evidence that could be distorted to argue that Saddam was interested in pursuing the development of WMDs, thus obscuring Dubya's true goal of exporting democracy to Iraq at the point of a gun. And in the final analysis, this is what truly concerns me: Rather than using the U.S. military as an option of last resort, Dubya seems to believe that war is just another tool of foreign policy.

War is hell. This is not to say that war cannot be justified, but waging a pre-emptive military action to effect regime change and/or export democracy sets a very dangerous precedent. Those were Dubya's objectives when he invaded Iraq, and while he succeeded in deposing Saddam Hussein and establishing a fledgling democracy in Iraq, he has no exit strategy. Meanwhile, Iraq is in the middle of an insurgency that enjoys an astonishing amount of popular support from Iraqis and fully one third of Iraq's Parliament would like to see the U.S.-led coalition withdraw its military forces.


Blogger Harold C. Hutchison said...

I have to respectfully disagree. For instance, it has been reported that Coalition forces in Iraq have discovered over 500 shells with chemical weapons (sarin and mustard gas). There is also evidence that a lot of stuff may have been moved to Syria.

Furthermore, as I have reported at Strategypage, there have been numerous documetns recovered showing that Saddam's regime had a connection with al-Qaeda. Among these was a 1998 document discovered in April, 2003, by a reporter from the Toronto Star, and it was the subject of a major article in that paper.

5:57 AM, August 02, 2006  

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