Thursday, April 27, 2006

On To Baghdad

TKS give us a reminder that at one time the Left complained that we did not go to Baghdad to overhtrow Saddam's regime. In 1991, that is:

A quick Lexis search reveals that in October 26, 1998, Charles Lane wrote in the New Republic that it was “one of contemporary history’s most maddening puzzles. Why, with Kuwait already liberated and Saddam Hussein's forces on the run, did George Bush balk at sending American troops on to Baghdad? … Yes, Bush’s decision spared American sons and daughters at that particular moment in February 1991, but it also left Saddam in power — which meant that, only weeks later, he could slaughter thousands of Kurds and Shiites within his own borders. It also meant that the United States was obliged to maintain an indefinite military presence in the Persian Gulf to keep Saddam bottled up. Dozens of soldiers have since died in Saudi Arabia at the hands of terrorists. Yet, to David Frost, Bush insisted that “instead of doing the Lord’s work, we would have been doing something very, very bad” if we had gone to Baghdad to oust Saddam.”

And in February of that year, the New Republic editors wrote, “The bombing of Baghdad, in short, is not the solution to the problem of Saddam and his chemical agents. There is only one solution to that problem, and that is to depose or to destroy Saddam himself. Bill Clinton seems no more willing to acknowledge this truth than Colin Powell was in 1991, when that great American paragon left the Iraqi villain to fight another day.”

Or back in 1997, recall the Newsweek story entitled “Saddam’s Dark Threat” that declared, “This time the real Iraqi menace is not a campaign of conquest but the growing anxiety that Saddam is building deadly chemical and biological weapons. With America's allies in disarray, President Clinton is weighing whether to strike Saddam and signal merchants of death that the United States will stand up to the new face of war — before toxic terror can make its way home.”

Interestingly enough, had we gone to Baghdad in 1991, we would have been hit with chemical weapons that Iraq undoubtedly had stockpiled around the country. So it is quite possible that the Left was wrong in 1991 and wrong now even though they have completely opposite complaints about the wisdom of taking Baghdad and deposing Saddam.