other thoughts on tenet's comments
Matthew Yglesias has a slightly different take on CIA Director George Tenet's recent comments to Congress that's well worth considering:
..the analysis does tend to reinforce the deep-thinking geopolitical rationale for an attack since, given the fact that Saddam's capacity to hurt us will only grow with time, it reminds us that soon enough a Saddam left in power may be able to counter-deter the US from deterring him against launching another regional war. The whole possibility of Iraqi terror-based blackmail against the US and the balance of power in the Middle East strikes me as a very murky issue, but it would be a big step forward if the administration would admit that this is the real question. Since they won't discuss it in these terms, I don't really know what balance of power they plan to see struck in the region after an invasion, but that's obviously relevant to assessing whether or not the risk is worth taking. The administration's coziness with Saudi Arabia, it's burgeoning rapprochement with Syria, and it's total refusal to deal with the whole Iran question makes me wonder whether they even have any plan in this regard at all. Frankly, I'd rather see Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, and Iraq all warily circling and checking one another than simply remove one (admittedly, somewhat more terrible) piece without an overall game plan.
His conclusion is especially memorable:
War with Iraq could be the first step down many roads, and I'd very much like to know which one it's going to be before I start my trip.