Monday, March 13, 2006

Too Little, Too Late

My biggest problem with the US invading Iraq, isn't that we shouldn't have never ousted Sadaam, but that deceiving the public about the threat of WMDs was the wrong way to go. I know my right wing readers will say we weren't lied to, and more on this in a bit, but first I was to stress that I think Sadaam did need to be kicked out, and personally I would back removing almost any dictator or government that engages in genocide. Had we been honest about our reasons for removing Sadaam, it may have been a tougher sell to US citizens and some international allies, but I think our integrity would still remain, and our mission in Iraq would be going much smoother as a result. Most of the time, the Bush Admin has to defend itself against accused lies, instead of merely being an aggressor.

My personal story about supporting the war on Iraq. Like many, I was on the fence whether we should invade or not. There were countless reasons to remove Sadaam, even though many of the accused atrocities had happened long before 2003. But the moment it became about WMDs, and the UN was sending in inspectors who kept coming back saying they were not finding any evidence, I was skeptical... why make it rest on WMDs if an international investigation couldn't determine if they didn't exist? I was encouraged by the like of Colin Powell, who I respected and trusted. When he presented evidence that WMDs were being hidden around Iraq, I was open to the idea. But after studying the issue rigorously, online, on TV, and in print, only one thing eventually made me change my mind.

My Uncle Skip.

A few months prior to invasion I was visiting Toledo and having dinner with him and my brother and sisters. The topic came up about the sketchy intelligence that substantiated the existance of WMDs, and I asked Skip what he thought. His reply was along the lines of, "The President and his staff wouldn't go to war unless they were absolutely sure there were WMDs, and they probably have a lot more intelligence supporting this than what they're revealing to the public."

And with that, I was pro-war.

Now, I kick myself. There was no additional good info. The intel was all bad. Maybe this is why they say you shouldn't argue religion and politics with family...

(and the part that burns me is that the same right wingers who blame the bad intelligence on Clinton's handling of our spy agencies are the same right wingers who cling to hope that the intel wasn't bad, but just that the WMDs were moved...)

So, back to my main point, which is best spelled out by a New York Times article... (remember, the same pansy New York Times that was pro-war and was spreading the same bad WMD intelligence that the right wingers still believe)

A Bush Alarm: Urging U.S. to Shun Isolationism


The president who made pre-emption and going it alone the watchwords of his first term is quietly turning in a new direction, warning at every opportunity of the dangers of turning the nation inward and isolationist, and making the case for international engagement on issues from national security to global economics...

...To his critics, the internationalist approach is too little too late — the price Mr. Bush has paid for a foreign policy that seemed relentlessly focused on building defensive walls and hunting enemies. A search of the White House Web site confirms that Mr. Bush, who in the days before he took office kept the take-no-prisoners speeches of Teddy Roosevelt on a table at his ranch, made little mention of "globalization" for much of his first five years in office, even when European leaders brought it up.

Asked once, several years ago, about his aversion to the topic, one of his senior aides said Mr. Bush associated the word with "mushy Clintonianism."

"It ranks up there with 'nation-building,' " he added...