(continued from the previous post)
Also interesting is the conspicuous absence of chemical and biological weapons. For starters, post-war discoveries of chemical weapons will, once again, not retroactively justify the war. The question of chemical weapons must be put in the proper context: A sober assesment of threat to national security. There's absolutely no question that advocates of the was grossly inflated the so-called Iraqi threat. The fact that thus far no chemical or biological attacks occurred suggests that even as he was being invaded, Saddam was deterred from using them (of course--had he done so, much Arab sympathy would have evaporated). Or he never had them to begin with. In either case, it's crystal clear that whatever WMD capability Saddam posessed, it posed no threat even to the American invasion. It's difficult to comprehend how this devlopment supports the hawk's contention that Iraq posed a major threat to US security. And I reiterate that whatever threat Iraq may have posed, I have yet to hear a satisfactory responce to the notion that the invasion of Iraq, and the diplomatc debacles that preceded it, are not of much greater concern to our long-term security.
Of course, the year-long harangue about Iraq's WMDs ceased the minute we invaded; it then became "the liberation of the Iraqi people." Notwithstanding that a lenghty US occupation has only just begun.
Speaking of which, why on Earth is the Administration only now figuring out how to run postwar Iraq? As the Administraiton had years to plot this war, and indeed expected Saddam to fall almost immediately, it's absolutely inexcusable not to have a full-fledged plan in place right now for bringing order, not to mention an abundance of pre-placed humanitarian aid. The current anarchy gripping Basra and parts of Baghdad, which the allied forces are understandably reluctant to quell, is a stark reminder that the postwar governance of Iraq can't be just an afterthought.
American and allied forces have made significan military gains in three short weeks. Yet our involvement in Iraq is sure to be a lengthy one, and US security critically depends on the Bush Administration not screwing it up. Needless to say, based on my opinion of their current record, including Afghanistan, I have hope but little confidence.