Random commentary and senseless acts of blogging.
The first Republican president once said, "While the people retain their virtue and their vigilance, no administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can seriously injure the government in the short space of four years." If Mr. Lincoln could see what's happened in these last three-and-a-half years, he might hedge a little on that statement.
Prisoners of Azkaban
Friday, September 13, 2002
I feel more comfortable on the whole with Bush's Iraq plans after reading the transcript of his speech. I've never been flatly opposed to military action in Iraq; if anything, I lean towards supporting. I was disturbed at the attitude the administration seemed to be taking for most of the summer that it was unnecessary to make the case for an intervention either to the nation or the world. There is now clearly a retreat from that position.
There is no disputing that Iraq is in material violation of numerous Security Council resolutions concerning the development of WMD, the admission of weapons inspectors, and perhaps even the return of POWs from the Gulf War. If Iraq cannot be persuaded to comply, a military response, as dangerous as that is, would be fully justified. But the better option, if it is available, is re-admission of inspectors and the peaceful dismantling of Iraqi WMD.
Josh Marshall is right in pointing out that the speech is a real policy change, although a subtle one. It is plain that there is still an iron fist backing up the diplomatic language, and equally plain that you can't deal usefully with Saddam Hussein on any other terms. It is probable that the US is still prepared to move without formal UN approval. But the willingness to seek that approval has already been a diplomatic success because it changes the discussion from the excesses of American power to the very real need to address the Iraqi situation.