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July 31, 2003

Yesterday, Pen-Elayne was searching for a pithy response to the question of Did the Iraq War Compromise the Hunt for Al Qaida?

Well, duh.

It's about credibility, isn't it?

When we bomb the heck out of not-involved-in-9/11 Iraq while pretending we think they were involved in 9/11...all the while blithely ignoring Saudi Arabia, the home of the majority of the 9/11 bombers, well, it's a little hard to convince the thinking world that they should join our war on terror, isn't it?

As Afghanistan crawls out of the bomb craters we left behind and finds itself once again in the hands of extremist warlords and we find we're too busy laying pipeline in Iraq (to fight terror!) to commit the resources it would take to finish what we started, we lose credibility.

North Korea told us to kiss its nukes, and we piously opted for a "diplomatic solution" in spite of the very real threat of nukes and/or biochemical warfare. (Much more so than any danger we were in from Iraq. For one thing, I strongly suspect the Administration's obsession with smallpox has always had a lot more to do with North Korea than with Iraq. Also, Hussein was/is a sadistic tyrant, but no one argues with the fact that North Korea is being led by a certifiable maniac. The man is internationally acknowledged to be insane.)

"Humanitarian" intervention-wise, Liberia is going down in flames and we're "anxious to work with the U.N."

If you check a variety of South American countries, you'll find a lot of "humanitarian" situations screaming out for intervention. We contributed largely to the problems of a lot of those countries, including their home-grown terrorism situations, but you don't see us stepping up to the plate, do you?

So, who are we spending all of our time and money on? Iraq.

Don't get me wrong. I am, as implied before, in favor of finishing what we started, so I'm not saying we should pull out of Iraq now, at any cost. Nor do I dispute that Hussein was a tyrant who needed to be overthrown.

I'm just saying that if we'd been serious about fighting terrorism, we'd have gone after, well, you know, terrorists. Regardless of whether or not they were in control of huge oil reserves.

So aside from the question of what's the best thing to do today, my opinion remains firm that we invaded Iraq on flimsy evidence cooked up to fulfill the Administration's, or the Administration's friends', agenda and that said agenda had nothing to do with either "liberating" the citizens of Iraq or a real communal belief among true experts that Hussein was about to launch any kind of terrorist attack against anyone.

Posted by AnneZook at 09:31 AM