Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Rightwingers: WMDs are no longer your friends

I used to make this point back in the good ole days of Iraq War blogging, but I still do not get why the people who still think the Iraq War was a good idea continue to insist that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction.

Bush did not launch the Iraq War to settle the question whether Iraq had WMDs. He proceeded from the premise that it had those weapons and launched the war to secure them. That is, to prevent Saddam from using them and to make sure that those weapons did not fall into the wrong hands. Back in early 2003 the existence of WMDs in Iraq was important for war proponents because it was the premise upon which the logic of the invasion rested.

But that completely changed once the U.S. military got to Iraq and found no weapons to secure. At that point, it was no longer in the interest of war proponents for there to be WMDs. Because if there had been such weapons, the U.S. military had failed to secure them. That would mean the war was a failure.

And yet, so many hawks never got that message, or maybe they just weren't capable of looking at the original logic for the invasion and following it to its logical conclusion in light of what happened after the Baathist regime fell. So they kept saying that WMDs were too in Iraq on the eve of the invasion, spinning theories that the bad guys had hidden them somewhere, or maybe squirreled them away to Syria or Iran. Which is really just another way of saying that exactly what Bush claimed he was trying to prevent when he launched the invasion (i.e. WMDs falling into the wrong hands) had happened. Each time they insist that WMDs existed, they are lending support to a reason to believe the Iraq War was a failure.

I don't think the Iraq War is defensible on any level. But anyone who wants to find some basis for claiming it wasn't a horrible blot on America's record needs to let the WMD thing go.