The Botereid

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Two points on the Iraq invasion

1. I've always preferred the deposing a tyrant purpose to the he had weapons. (Though I realize that it begs the question: "How many tyrants are out there?")

2. David Brooks is insane.

What is Brooks talking about? His key paragraph:

With sanctions weakening and money flowing, he rebuilt his strength. He contacted W.M.D. scientists in Russia, Belarus, Bulgaria and elsewhere to enhance his technical knowledge base. He increased the funds for his nuclear scientists. He increased his military-industrial-complex's budget 40-fold between 1996 and 2002. He increased the number of technical research projects to 3,200 from 40. As Duelfer reports, "Prohibited goods and weapons were being shipped into Iraq with virtually no problem."

Ok, so Saddam was going after weapons; he might have gotten his hands on them if sanctions were lifted. This is the wrong point though. Sanctions weren't going to be lifted without heavy and assiduous inspection of Iraq. That's what stripped Saddam of weapons; inspections could have worked again.

"He was on the verge of greatness. We would all now be living in his nightmare." How about, "He is on the verge of greatness. We could all soon be living in his nightmare"? Are we talking about Kim Jong Il now? Are we talking about an Ayatollah? Are we talking about some no-name terrorist with an itchy finger on the trigger of a bomb?

Brooks says that we shouldn't take pieces of the Duelfer report out of context. Well, Mr. Brooks, there's a damn big piece of the report -- it's very purpose -- that can and has been taken out and slapped on the front page of every paper in the nation: Saddam didn't have weapons. You can't deny it. And it's only taken $120 billion and tens of thousands of lives to find it out.

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