Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Wednesday | September 11, 2002

Putting the horse before the cart

A reader pointed me to today's USA Today, which details how the administration concluded war with Iraq was necessary. It's a sobering piece, and includes this gem of a paragraph:

The White House still has not requested that the CIA and other intelligence agencies produce a National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq, a formal document that would compile all the intelligence data into a single analysis. An intelligence official says that's because the White House doesn't want to detail the uncertainties that persist about Iraq's arsenal and Saddam's intentions. A senior administration official says such an assessment simply wasn't seen as helpful.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, calls that ''stunning.''

So, while the Bushies claim they have "no doubt" Saddam has nukes, they refuse to commission a National Intelligence Estimate for fear the evidence may prove them wrong!

The administration has long-betrayed its lack of rationale, failing to provide anything resembling evidence of the alleged Iraqi threat. As the USA Today story makes clear, Bush has never needed a reason to commit the nation to war -- it's been an article of faith that Hussein must go. Damn be the reasons.

Iraq supports terrorism? No evidence exists. This argument has run its course, and even the administration seems to have abandoned it.

Iraq has weapons of mass destruction? Join the line. About a dozen nations have such weapons these days. Only the US has deigned to use them, and that was when it was the sole nuclear power. The threat of annihilation through retaliation has checked any subsequent use of such weapons.

Iraq will give weapons of mass destruction to terrorists? Would the secular Hussein give such weapons to religious fundamentalists? Doubtful. Terrorists are more likely to receive such weapons from Pakistan's intelligence agency -- which has deep ties to the Taliban and Al Queda.

I can go on, but ultimately, it doesn't matter. As the article note, the Bush Administration doesn't need a reason to invade Iraq. It just knows. Thus, we are left with two bulwarks against invasion: the US Congress (which shouldn't be discounted -- it's been surprisingly critical of Bush's plans), and the UN.

I still maintain logistical problems make an Iraq invasion exceedingly difficult. And the domestic and international political situations aren't doing Bush any favors.

War is by no means assured.

Posted September 11, 2002 09:27 PM | Comments (1)


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