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The Therapy Sessions
Thursday, August 07, 2003

Iraq Hubris

The Chicago Tribune’s Steve Chapman shadowboxes:

Iraq was billed as Act II of the war on terrorism, and still is. In the months before the invasion, the American people were endlessly browbeaten with warnings about the connection between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.

Uh, Not really.

The administration took pains to emphasize that they did not have evidence of a “link.” They mentioned the presence of a crazy Islamic nut cult in northern Iraq called Ansar al Islami, which did have ties to Al Qaeda. The claims about Ansar were true, and this group of terrorists fought Americans viciously.

They lost.

But Chapman, even fighting an imaginary enemy, has to call it a draw:

The campaign of guilt by association succeeded beyond his fondest hopes. Last fall, a majority of Americans said Saddam Hussein was personally involved in Sept. 11, something even the administration didn't dare to claim.

How is Bush responsible for the fact that Americans don’t read?

Liberals are fighting a losing battle here. They simultaneously argue that Bush should have connected the dots in CIA intelligence and foreseen 9/11, but that he should have known that intelligence about Iraq’s WMD was overblown.

That’s asking a lot.

They know (somehow) that Bin Laden (or his successor) would never take a weapon from man like Hussein. Hussein should have been left alone to work on whatever the hell he was working on because he would never help Osama.

Let me repeat that: our sworn enemy Saddam Hussein, who has irrationally attacked Iran, Kuwait, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United States (remember the USS Stark?), who tried to kill our former president, who funded terrorism throughout the world, and used chemical weapons against his own people, would never work with Osama Bin Laden. Never.

Um hmm.

Bin Laden asks no questions about where his weapons come from. Most of the weapons Bin Laden uses – like his trusty AK47 – were built by one of his sworn enemies, the Soviet Union. And Al Qaeda has tested its own chemical weapons and it wants to go nuclear.

(And hey, Saddam had centrifuges, preserved for future use!)

A terrorist takes help where he can get it.

I think Bush realizes what Chapman doesn't.

Had we not attacked Iraq, eventually the embargo would have crumbled. It was a source of rage for Iraq's neighbors, human rights groups were attacking it (it was killing 4000-5000 Iraqi children a month, they said), and France, Germany, China and Russia were all cheating.

Containment was failing.

It was only a matter of time before Saddam's Iraq was welcomed back into the community of nations. The "no fly" zones would have ended; Hussein would have massacred the Kurds again and resumed control of northern Iraq. And in all probablity, he would have restarted his weapons programs and passed power on to one of his maniac sons.

Is this what Chapman wants?

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