The Corner

Going to War

A distinguished reader:

[Quoting me]  “Going to war is what nations do when they believe their interests are gravely threatened.”  [Him]  You’ve sure changed your tune. Good.

[Me]  Fiddlesticks. If the intelligence agencies that cost me an arm and a leg in taxes tell me Saddam Hussein is working on WMDs (which they did); and even manage to persuade a sensible fellow like Colin Powell of it (check); and if Saddam Hussein is mad as hell at us for kicking him out of Kuwait and overflying his territory (which he was); and if he’s also pally with terrorists (no doubt); then my country’s interests (i.e. in not having one of our cities poisoned or blown up) are gravely threatened, and a quick Putinesque admonition is called for.

A ten-year, trillion-dollar project of Bringing Light Unto the Gentiles and Making the World Safe for Democracy are of course way beyond the routine exercise in gunboat diplomacy that I was looking for; but I never supported them, and in fact publicly apologized for not having been smart enough to figure that given, to quote from the aforementioned apology, “the lazy-minded evangelico-romanticism of George W. Bush, the bureaucratic will to power of Donald Rumsfeld, the avuncular condescension of Dick Cheney, and the reflexive military deference of Colin Powell,” the world-rectifying project would follow with perfect logical inevitability. My bad. Given what we had learned in 2001-03 about the metastasizing terrorist threat, though, the casus belli looked sound to this citizen.

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