Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Wednesday, September 24, 2003  

The BBC is reporting that the Iraq Survey Group will say there are no WMD in Iraq. Big surprise, that.

The report will say its inspectors have not even unearthed "minute amounts of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons material". They have also not uncovered any laboratories involved in deploying weapons of mass destruction and no delivery systems for the weapons.

I doubt very seriously if this will stir a yawn here (possibly the Brits will howl), but it does provide us an opportunity to revisit this most central claim of the Bush/Blair rush to war.

Let's go ahead and assume the best: the Bush/Blair team did have intelligence about Saddam's WMD and they were actually scared he'd use them. What does this tell us? Right off the bat, I'd say it blows a hefty hole through the whole Bush doctrine of pre-emption. Remember that jewel of the neo-con brain trust? We could invade anyone we regarded as threatening; not imminently threatening, as fifty years of international law has suggested, but any potential threat. Except Iraq wasn't. Sorta like how we've been executing criminals cause we knew we had the right guys.

It also tells us the Bush foreign policy folk are dangerously incompetent. They have commited the US to a multi-year, multi-billion-dollar (half a trillion, probably) boondoggle. US troops will be used to secure a region previously contained, but now festering with hatred and real terrorists. Those US troops will not be available for other regions or for the "war on terror."

It tells us that the 11,000-page document that Iraq submitted to the UN was accurate: Iraq did not have WMD. Recall that the incompetent Bushies never considered that a possibility. They declared that Iraq was in "material breach" by virtue submitting this accurate document and said this justified invasion. (Colin Powell: "Our experts have found it to be anything but accurate full, or complete. It should be obvious that the pattern of systematic holes and gaps in Iraq's declaration is not the result of accidents or editing oversights or technical mistakes. These are material omissions that, in our view, constitute another material breach.") They also demanded that Hans Blix pull out of Iraq because they asserted he was incompetent. Seems "incompetent" is the key word--on that we can all agree.

In a certain sense, White House critics were mistaken to label Bush a liar. It distracted focus from a charge verifiably obvious: he is dangerously incompetent. Now he is "rebuilding" a country by paying private corporations (selected in a secret process) billions with taxpayer money. So many of this administrations policies are abject failures--economic policy, jobs stimulus, terror issues, the "roadmap," the Afghanistan reconstruction, and the Iraq debacle--that it's incomprehensible Congress would consider pulling his chestnuts out of the fire now. I still think the White House lied its butt off in the ramp-up to the war, but that's immaterial. The whole thing's a debacle, lie or no. That's the last thing the whole affair tells us.

posted by Jeff | 2:28 PM |
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