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Mr. Corry’s article on the continuing Iraq flap has some substance but it really misses the point of the whole thing. The point being that Saddam had to be removed because he posed a threat to the entire region there, more so than his fellow gangsters in Afghanistan, and his partner in crime Bin Laden. He also posed a serious threat to this nation due to the fact that our current environmental laws have made us very dependent on that region’s oil. There are other factors also but the aforementioned ones will suffice for now.
Now to the point on whether Bush outright lied or was merely mistaken. In light of the situation, that is really a moot question and I think the American people will see it that way also. The biggest liar we’ve seen on foreign policy was the former President Clinton and the one with the thinnest excuses. It was because of that person’s ineptitude that we were forced into a war with a radical mindset. Bush has stepped up to the issue and shown considerable leadership in doing so. There is not a Demoncratic contender out there who can even come close to the job Bush has done to protect our nation.p>Finally, yes, this war is costing American lives on a daily basis, as war will do. However, we must balance that with how many lives are being saved because we removed a major threat to our nation. All we have to do is look at that place called Ground Zero to see that the course we are on is the right one. Hindsight may be 20-20 but it’s also after the fact. Enough said. God Bless the USA and our troops. br> — Pete Chagnon /p> p> Yes, but… There may be potent issues, but aren’t the Dems taking some major risks? No Dem knows the truth (and couldn’t admit it if he did). President Bush probably does, at least part of it. The Dems have to gamble that over the next 15 months, the President won’t trot out, what, Osama in shackles, Saddam in shackles, Syrian-provided proof of big time WMD, Saudi complicity, Israeli intelligence, proof of Al Qaeda intervention, or proof of Clinton’s involvement with one or more of these? The Dems are acting out of pure spite and obstructionism, desperate to come up with something. And, they have underestimated the Bush team time and again. I see nothing potent in that. br> — unsigned /p>
Corry writes “On the eve of the Iraqi invasion, President Bush warned the U.N. that unless it went along with U.S. proposals it risked fading ‘into history as an ineffective, irrelevant debating society.’ But that was then, and the insular ideologues have now discovered that we may need the rest of the world, after all.”
Contrary to Corry’s misleading tone, Bush was not saying the U.N. had to take orders from the U.S. or be irrelevant, but that it had to do something real or risk irrelevancy. The U.N. was being worse than useless by having a cynical, fake joke of an arms control process for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, giving the illusion of doing something while leaving Saddam and company the time, space, money, and connections needed to quietly make WMD progress. And Bush was not saying “we don’t need the rest of the world”; on the contrary he succeeded in uniting much of the world against Saddam’s arms (even Muslim nations!). Given the cynical self-dealing games of a few nations like China, Russia, France, and Germany, he was forced to act without them; but he had the consent and moral support of many “new European” and other nations too small to provide real military support. Bush was if anything too polite in failing to confront the venality of the old guard directly.
Bush did not “make a mess” of foreign policy, as Corry disingenuously asserts. The mess was clearly already there: cynical fake international arms control regimes concealing the growing threat, the grotesque neglect of intelligence and defense in pursuit of domestic political gain. The riskiness of the action Bush took was made necessary by the fecklessness of the previous non-policy.
This chattering over particular individual intelligence leads is just plain bizarre, given the totality of the picture. Did Saddam have the burning desire to make mass murder weapons to wield against Israel, the U.S., his neighbors, and even Iraqis? Yes. Did he have the money? Yes. Did he have enough science and engineering talent to at least shop intelligently? Yes. Did he have useful connections, consultants, and precursor suppliers in France, Germany, and Russia? Yes. Was the fake arms-control regime foisted on the world by France, Germany, and Russia through the U.N. giving Saddam the time and space needed to proceed, at least quietly and cautiously? Yes. Is a toe-hold of democracy or at least rule of law in the Arab/Persian Mideast absolutely necessary if there is to be peace and stability in the region, and some resistance to world-wide state-sponsored terrorism? Yes. Given the totality of the trend, is there any doubt that the world would eventually face far worse danger had Bush failed to act? No.p>Is the Bush policy sure to succeed? No. It’s a fifty-fifty proposition. But it’s better than doing nothing, and doing nothing would have been a damn sight better than the previous policy of covering up the problem. The political gaming of Democrats — trying to profit from adversity — is one kind of threat to sensible policy and the safety of the public. Another kind is the self-justification of columnists trying to make the Administration look bad by misstating their positions. br> —
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