Can’t say I’m surprised…in fact, I and many other critics of the war on Iraq used just this very scenario as an argument against intervention. I suspected that those who supported the march to war understood that this was an inevitable effect of invading an Arab nation. The question remains: did those same war-advocates believe the supposed “gains” from invading Iraq outweigh these and other costs? Or, perhaps their reason was blinded by a desire for revenge. I admit, I may be presenting a false dichotomy, but it still seems reasonable to me.
The report cited above claims that their was a “plus” to the invasion of Iraq:
- “On the plus side, war in Iraq has denied al Qaeda a potential supplier of weapons of mass destruction and discouraged state sponsors of terrorism from continuing to support it,” the report said.
Um, what WMD? In fact, as Paul Sperry reported, the Bush administration was told by its intelligence services that an invasion of Iraq would be one of the only ways that bin Laden et al could receive such weapons. Sperry quotes the report:
- “Saddam, if sufficiently desperate, might decide that only an organization such as al-Qaida could perpetrate the type of terrorist attack that he would hope to conduct.”
Sufficiently desperate? If he “feared an attack that threatened the survival of the regime,” the report explained.
“In such circumstances,” it added, “he might decide that the extreme step of assisting the Islamist terrorists in conducting a CBW [chemical and biological weapons] attack against the United States would be his last chance to exact vengeance by taking a large number of victims with him.”
In other words, only if Saddam were provoked by U.S. attack would he even consider taking the “extreme step” of reaching out to al-Qaida, an organization with which he had no natural or preexisting relationship. He wasn’t about to strike the U.S. or share his alleged weapons with al-Qaida – unless the U.S. struck him first and threatened the collapse of his regime.