Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Iraqi Nuances

I meant to post this yesterday, but I got sidetracked and forgot. But Daniel Drezner reminded me about it this morning, so here it is for y'all.

Fareed Zakaria (hardly a leftist apologist) writes an article in yesterday's Washington Post entitled "Why Kerry is Right on Iraq."

The more intelligent question is (given what we knew at the time): Was toppling Hussein's regime a worthwhile objective? Bush's answer is yes; Howard Dean's is no. Kerry's answer is that it was a worthwhile objective but was disastrously executed. For this "nuance" Kerry has been attacked from both the right and the left. But it happens to be the most defensible position on the subject.

Mr. Zakaria FINALLY makes cogent what I and Sen. Kerry have been struggling to articulate for some time: That Iraq was a worthy endeavor, which makes President Bush's abject failure in its execution all the more contemptable. Zakaria continues:
Bush's position is that if Kerry agrees with him that Hussein was a problem, then Kerry agrees with his Iraq policy. Doing something about Iraq meant doing what Bush did. But is that true? Did the United States have to go to war before the weapons inspectors had finished their job? Did it have to junk the U.N. process? Did it have to invade with insufficient troops to provide order and stability in Iraq? Did it have to occupy a foreign country with no cover of legitimacy from the world community? Did it have to ignore the State Department's postwar planning? Did it have to pack the Iraqi Governing Council with unpopular exiles, disband the army and engage in radical de-Baathification? Did it have to spend a fraction of the money allocated for Iraqi reconstruction -- and have that be mired in charges of corruption and favoritism? Was all this an inevitable consequence of dealing with the problem of Saddam Hussein?

A laundry list of problems in the EXECUTION of our Iraq mission doesn't have to implicitly condemn the need for the action itself. Thanks to Mr. Zakaria for clearing that up.

Of course, the REAL news is that it has lowered Prof. Drezner's probability of voting for President Bush to .4 . I (assume that's 40% chance?). Whatever it is, good news for liberals!

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