Contributed by: filbert Wednesday, December 28 2005 @ 08:36 AM CST
On Nov. 20, the Tribune began an inquest: We set out to assess the Bush administration’s arguments for war in Iraq. We have weighed each of those nine arguments against the findings of subsequent official investigations by the 9/11 Commission, the Senate Intelligence Committee and others. We predicted that this exercise would distress the smug and self-assured–those who have unquestioningly supported, or opposed, this war.
. . .
After reassessing the administration’s nine arguments for war, we do not see the conspiracy to mislead that many critics allege. Example: The accusation that Bush lied about Saddam Hussein’s weapons programs overlooks years of global intelligence warnings that, by February 2003, had convinced even French President Jacques Chirac of “the probable possession of weapons of mass destruction by an uncontrollable country, Iraq.” We also know that, as early as 1997, U.S. intel agencies began repeatedly warning the Clinton White House that Iraq, with fissile material from a foreign source, could have a crude nuclear bomb within a year.
Was the case for war overstated? Yes. Was there sufficient casus belli to go to war? Reasonable people can disagree. I think yes as well. Saddam was as brutal a tyrant as this world has ever seen. His only difference from monsters such as Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot is that he “only” killed hundreds of thousands instead of millions. Saddam’s removal from power was in and of itself a good thing.
Both kneejerk war hawks and Bush Derangement Syndrome[*2] sufferers would benefit themselves and the entire national political debate by reading and comprehending this outstanding series of editorials by the Chicago Tribune. Sometimes Old Media remembers its true calling and purpose. Are you listening, New York Times?