� Reflections on the Blogosphere | Main | Military Defends Use of Affirmative Action �

February 06, 2003

War Assessment Update

I caught about a half hour of Powell's testimony on tape. He sounded exactly like himself. Reasonable with a capital R. At the moment, I feel the need to go and list all of the UN resolutions on Iraq ask the question, how much does Iraq violate, let me count the ways. I imagine it would be a large number.

There isn't much question that Iraq has no intention of compliance. This is what has changed in my perspective. Yet knowing that, I still find Bush's reasoning to be weak. So I'm still going to play 'blame Bush' and criticize him, while praising Powell.

The way I see it is thusly: Bush, having been led by the nose by his chickenhawks is now in material breach of his campaign promise "No Nation Building!". As I've said before, my problem with Bush is that his foreign policy stinks, he's not a proper emperor and he is not leading us towards proper empire. He did not differentiate between the War on Terror (which should be properly an international police action and shared intelligence operation, which by the way are we still doing with the French? Of course we are.) and the Shooting War against Iraq. This is a consequence of not having a strong vision of the world, and now the overkill in the hired hawk department from Rice to Rumsfeld has got him in a bind.

Some folks have suggested that Blix should have been on the recieving end of the kind of intelligence declassified for Powell's speech. No way. That would have given everyone yet another excuse to say that the US is acting unilaterally by tweaking the process. Blix' independence is crucial. But knowing that Blix would not come up with the type and quality of intelligence that we have should have tipped the White House into setting up different parameters for the case for militancy. A six month rope for Saddam to hang himself would have been preferable to the expectation forced on Blix to find a smoking gun. We know Saddam has the gun, and we know that with Blix in country, he couldn't procede forward with any loading of that gun or building of another, so why build up the unilateral military buildup and provoke the Security Council? I think that is a consequence of not letting Powell lead. Then again Powell has his job to do, and he did a fine job of moving the White House from 'regime change' to 'disarmament'.

Obviously this was a compromise that Rumsfeld probably took spitting and cursing. I see him as the man pushing materiel and troops to the Gulf. So now we are playing hurry-up and spending money on readiness that may or may not have international support. We knew Iraq would defy, that's why 1441 was created. The trap would have been enough, and it still is enough, without the provocations of the White House hawks. And now that it's clear that Saddam is indeed defiant, where we could have and should have had unanimity, now we don't. I'm saying that the White House war rhetoric has given all self-respecting nations no wiggle room and made them uncomfortable with their own UN resolution. We could have just shutup.

There's really no excuse here, because we have shutup about Iran and Korea. I don't know about you but I was rather shocked when that Korean ship was let go. The White House position?

"There is no provision under international law prohibiting Yemen from accepting delivery of missiles from North Korea," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said. "While there is authority to stop and search, in this instance there is no clear authority to seize the shipment of Scud missiles from North Korea to Yemen. Therefore, the merchant vessel is being released."

Yike. Scud missiles go to Yemen? The same Yemen as this?

Cole was in the Yemini port for a refueling stop when a small boat laden with explosives was detonated beside the ship, blasting a hole in its side. Following the attack in which 17 Sailors were killed and 39 were injured, Cole was returned to the U.S.

So what's Yemen got that lets them have Scuds, while we chase down Iraqi Scuds? I don't get it.

Posted by mbowen at February 6, 2003 08:11 AM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference War Assessment Update:

9005da1f37353 from 9005da1f37353
aaec003a290fdab50564ece8bb7f08f5 . [Read More]

Tracked on March 16, 2005 09:16 AM