Wednesday, March 12, 2003

More Iraq: In a word, yes. I think you've said it. A couple of points: First, going the UN route seemed like a good idea at the time. 20/20 hindsight, and all that. But 1441 appeared to have some teeth, and it passed unanimously. The fact that France and Russia now argue around it is truly a logical headstand. Perhaps we should have known that 1441 was too good to be true, but I don't fault Bush for being misled. Second, our government stated, quite clearly, in 1998 (and in defiance of Kofi Annan) that Saddam was a man we could not do business with. Bush's Iraq policy is simply Clinton's Iraq policy without the endless policy dickering that characterized the Clinton administration. (See Sully, here, for a better analysis.) All the resistance to a regime change policy now is on account of the messenger, not the message. Face it, Clinton could have proposed a capital gains tax cut and old school Republicans would have opposed it on deficit hawk terms, just to oppose the ol' randy Arkansan. Likewise, Bush could propose doubling the minimum wage, and die hard Dems would, reflexively, start looking suspiciously for how it benefits Halliburton. This is partisanship, and it stinks.

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