The Corner

Bbc and Wmd

Right you are Cliff. Regardless of how the forensics of this turn-out, and the full story will probably never be known, we will always know that Saddam had:

1) the history of using and seeking WMD,

2) the clear intent to seek more with an eye towards mischief in the region, and

3) the capabilities to deploy WMD (i.e. delivery systems, conventional complimentary capabilities, experienced hands, etc) when he got it

Now, the good strategist always acts against adversaries based on intent and capabilities (and informed by their track record). A lawyer waits for a smoking gun. In this world, a smoking gun means dead Americans. Bush understands this.

Ironically, the 9/11 report criticized the Clinton and Bush administrations for not attending to the gathering threat of Al Quaeda by acting pro-actively and thinking creatively about the manifestations of the threat. At the same time, the Democrats are trying to crucify the President for doing precisely that against Saddam Hussein.

See my piece in the summer issue of The National Interest for why the administration should thump its chest more loudly about the enduring strategic and moral relevance of removing Saddam – regardless of where the WMD at the time evidence comes out.

John Hillen, a former assistant secretary of state, is the James C. Wheat Professor in Leadership at Hampden-Sydney College’s Wilson Center for Leadership in the Public Interest, and a member of the NR, Inc. Board of Directors.


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