So, a year ago I posted my thoughts on the war in Iraq – whether it’s justified or unjustified. The bottom line conclusion is that the only case in which I felt war was justified is if Iraq was a threat to us. Period.
Knowing what we know now, not having found significant weapons of mass destruction it becomes difficult to conclude that Iraq was a threat, and therefore that war was justified. Of course, I guess this issue is not over yet. There are still searches and investigations as to whether they exist, and certainly people regardless of party had at one time believed they existed. I supposed one could argue it doesn’t matter whether or not we thought they existed, or who thought that they existed, only that we today see no proof of the fact.
Looking back over the last 2-3 years, my question is this: if you were president, what would you have done?
Not too long after 9/11 a firestorm of theories came out about Bush knowing about what was going to happen. How was he supposed to have known? Intelligence. The US supposedly had intelligence that should have tipped us off to the 9-11 attack so we could do something to prevent it.
Now what’s the biggest thing Bush is being attacked on for the war in Iraq? Intelligence again. This time rather than being criticized for ignoring his intelligence, he’s being criticized for using it.
So this is the dilemma I have. Intelligence appears not to be an exact science. It is not 100% reliable. So what do we do with it? If it’s not reliable, and we can’t act on unreliable information, then it’s not producing information that’s actionable. If it’s not producing information that’s actionable, then isn’t it worthless? Can it be made better? Does anyone really think the intelligence is any better under one administration versus another? One bloated bureaucracy to the next?
As a sidebar, I really think the Democrat-Republican role reversal is interesting in this case. When Clinton was president, the Democrats were big fans of humanitarian military efforts. Republicans groaned at the spending. Now here we are with Iraq, and the strongest arguments for the war Republicans currently have are humanitarian arguments. We freed them, we stopped the killing, etc. Republicans are actually using these arguments. Democrats have taken the opposite position and complain about the spending, with apparently less of an interest in the humanitarian aspect. The two parties never cease to amaze…