Sunday, October 05, 2003

Timing of Iraq War

Rob Bernard points out that he did address why we went to war when we did. His answer was:
We attacked when we did because it appeared those opposing our timetable weren't opposing when we were doing it, but that we were doing it at all. Might it have been better if we had waited for a better postwar plan? Sure, but that's 20-20 hindsight talking. There was not a single person, either pro or anti, talking before the war about the postwar plan.
Rob makes part of my case for me. No one was talking about post-war Iraq. Why was that? Well, that is not true, many were asking about the post-war Iraq, those questions came mostly from Democrats, like Joe Biden in this 02/11/2003 NewsHour segment, but also Senator Lugar (R) asked questions that no one in the Bush Administration answered significantly then and still have not done much of it to date.

Lugar's initial comment:
How long might U.S. troops conceivably remain? Will the United Nations have a role? And who will manage Iraq's oil resources? Unless the administration can answer these questions in detail, the anxiety of Arab and European governments, as well as that of many in the American public, over our staying power will only grow.
Biden's initial comment:
The one lesson universally learned from Vietnam is that a foreign policy, no matter how well or poorly articulated, cannot be sustained without the informed consent of the American people. The American people have no notion what we are about to undertake. This is a gigantic undertaking in what the word that we don't like to hear: nation building -- nation building.
Rob's comments still do not pass muster as to why we had to fight then. If they only reason was that France was not going to support us, then I still can’t find what harm would have it caused if we instead waited for more troops to arrive, waited for Turkey to come around and let us stage troops from our bases there, and waited for everyone other than France to come around and support our actions? We might have reduced the number of causalities significantly, especially from the post-war violence. We would have kept Saddam in power for 6 to 8 months longer, but Bush left him in power from his inauguration up through this year without any significant fretting as to the fate of the people being oppressed in Iraq.

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