The quagmirers and murkers have clearly moved on to their next concern–keeping Iraq safe for Saddam and other living things. The latest is this piece by the normally semi-rational (if a little overexcitable) Chris Matthews.
A couple choice quotes:
To topple Saddam would take a half-million to a million U.S. troops. It would require an occupying force capable of policing a civilian population that would be embittered by a brutal bombing campaign. It would cast us in the role of the aggressor.
Ummmm… do you have some data to support that troop estimate, Chris?
I didn’t think so.
And speaking of embittered populations, I hear that the Afghan people are for the most part thrilled with our bombing over there. Do you really believe that Saddam has more domestic support than did the Taliban? The media over here may not know who’s been starving the Iraqi women and children to build palaces and weapons, but it’s no secret to the Iraqi people.
Bush must certainly know that an all-out invasion would put the United States on one side, Iraq and the rest of the world on the other. I doubt that even British Prime Minister Tony Blair would back an attack on Baghdad.
Well, unlike Chris, I don’t know whether Bush knows that or not. I don’t think that even I know that. I wonder why Chris thinks that he does. At a minimum, I actually do suspect Mr. Blair can be persuaded to go along, and Russia can be bribed with some oil deals, and no one else really matters. So, even if true, it brings to mind (albeit in an entirely more benign context) Stalin’s rhetorical question, “How many divisions does the Pope have?”
The hunt for Osama Bin Laden was an easy sell. A war with Iraq would not enjoy the same authenticity. We would be attacking a nation based on what it might do: use biological or nuclear weapons against another country.
Well, actually, Chris, we’ll be doing it for Saddam’s complicity in what happened on September 11–he was one of Osama’s accomplices. Or have you already forgotten that little meeting in Europe between Mr. Atta and the Security Minister of Iraq? We just haven’t been making the case strongly, because we didn’t want to have to deal with Iraq until we get Afghanistan well on its way to civilization.
But even if it is only preemptive, given Saddam’s track record, that is sufficient justification in itself. It’s not about what Saddam might do–he has already used chemical weapons against Iran and his own people. There should be no doubt that he will do so against us if he finds it advantageous.
Try and take slower, deeper breaths, Chris–I think you’re a little oxygen deprived.