Saturday, November 26, 2005

Iraq War Debate Quagmire

One of the issues about the Iraq War and War on Terror generally that just pisses me off is the unending debate over basic facts. No matter how many times the anti-war side brings up some plastic turkey, it will never die under the assault of simple facts. The result is a never-ending debate over the decision to overthrow Saddam's regime.

Victor Hanson (via Real Clear Politics) addresses the very real Iraq-al Qaeda connections before the war:

As American casualties mount in Iraq, politicians at home now fight over who said what and when about weapons of mass destruction and the need for going to war. One of the most frequent charges is that President Bush hyped a non-existent link between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida — and that as a result, we diverted our efforts from finishing off the real terrorists to start a new and costly war to replace a secular dictator.

This charge is false for several reasons — and illogical for even more. Almost every responsible U.S. government body had long warned about Saddam's links to al-Qaida terrorists.

Hanson then goes on to list these warnings. Read them all. Hanson concludes:

Americans can blame one another all we want over the cost in lives and treasure in Iraq. But the irony is that not long ago everyone from Bill Clinton to George Bush, senators, CIA directors and federal prosecutors all agreed that Saddam had offered assistance to al-Qaida, the organization that murdered 3,000 Americans. That was one of the many reasons we went into Iraq, why Zarqawi and ex-Baathists side-by-side now attack American soldiers — and why an elected Iraqi government is fighting with us.

The efforts to rewrite history are truly 1984ish in their scale. There were ties between Saddam and al Qaeda. The assessment of Iraq's WMD arsenal and programs was not invented on September 12, 2001. And Joe Wilson is an idiot.

Can we not at least agree on the basics before continuing the endless debate over the Iraq War?