Tuesday, July 22, 2003

We've been hearing a good deal about some of the proffered reasons for the invasion of Iraq, both pro and con. Many heatedly claim the assertions that Iraq was developing WMD are now shown to have been unjustified, while others deny it. Many claim that the suffering Saddam imposed upon his own people and the potential for a democratic Iraq to set a good example for the whole Middle East always were the primary justification for the invasion of Iraq, while others deny it as ardently.

There is one reason we don't now hear much about from either side - although I seem to recall it being discussed before the war. We had already issued ultimatums and started putting the troops in place. There were many who said that for the United States to back down at that point would be considered as a sign of weakness by our enemies, so short of the sort of proof Iraq had repeatedly failed to furnish of disarmament we had no choice but to invade. I don't recall and of the proponents of this idea saying specifically that the troop buildup or the threats preceeding it had been a mistake but we now had no choice except to proceed - they seem to have had positive expectations for the aftermath of the war. Nevertheless, they also implied that whether the initial moves had been right or wrong, going ahead was at that point the only option.

They now make me think of the article from the Washington Times in a different light.

CRAWFORD, Texas — President Bush yesterday accused Iran and Syria of aiding and abetting terrorists seeking to undermine the Middle East peace process, warning the two nations that he will hold them accountable.
"Today, Syria and Iran continue to harbor and assist terrorists. This behavior is completely unacceptable, and states that support terror will be held accountable," the president said in a news conference at his Texas ranch with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Maybe the decision has already been made. Since Iran and Syria underlie the problems in Iraq, casualties cannot totally be eliminated until those two countries are pacified. Iraqi's must be trained to replace as many American occupation troops as possible, which will somewhat reduce troop exposure, but the problem won't be resolved until we deal with those two countries as well. This idea about the administration's intentions is by now rather commonplace, but most people seem to feel the worsening situation with Iraqi casualties will put a hitch in the administrations plans. I now suspect they intend to go ahead with them, partly due to the new crash training program for Iraqi forces.. Perhaps they will do as Great Britain did, and try and keep one third of the force American, to protect against the every present danger of mutiny by their 'own' Iraqi troops. This should still free up a great number of troops.

The time has come to ask, I think, who will interfere with the rebuilding of Syria and Iran - and what will we do to them?

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