Al, the Esoteric Comments Box Writer, Makes a Good Point

The latest strategic rhetorical maneuver from war supporters embarrassed by the lack of WMDs is to say, “So, shall we put Saddam back in power?” Nobody’s advocating that, of course, but this desperate attempt at diversion from the subject points to a rather problematic fact for the “War was just, just give us time and we’ll figure out why” crowd. Namely, Bush himself made clear that if Saddam had ponied up the WMDs, Bush would have left him in power. So much for our deep concern for imprisoned children and people going into plastic shredders. If the reason for the war was to remove a tyrant, then the war should have been fought whether Saddam ponied up or not. But it was not fought because Saddam is a tyrant. It was fought for one reason: American security. The argument for American security rests on one claim: that Saddam had WMDs by the warehouseful, that thse posed an imminent danger to *us*, and that these would be revealed to the world (“Just you wait!”).

They have not been revealed. So now we’re getting the post hoc “Operation Iraqi Freedom” justifications for the war. It’s nice that a tyrant is gone. But since Bush himself evinced no interest in getting rid of that tyrant apart from American security reasons, it’s rather unconvincing to call critics of the war who are skeptical of the “American security” justification heartless monsters who are content to feed people into shredders without at least having the decency to call Bush a similarly heartless monster since his pre-war justifications were entirely based on American security and not on the sudden post hoc “nation building” schema that has surfaced in the past month and a half.


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