The Corner

Why We Were Right to Take Out Saddam

In a recent interview, Katie Couric asked Condoleezza Rice what were the reasons for removing Saddam Hussein if one were to take fear of weapons of mass destruction out of the argument. Rice reviewed the general pathologies of the Saddam regime, but did not cite the October 2002 joint congressional resolutions that listed over 20 writs justifying regime change, including Saddam’s bounties to terrorist bombers on the West Bank, genocide against the Kurds, attempts to kill George H. W. Bush, harboring of terrorists, and violation of the 1991 accords, the no-fly zones, and U.N. sanctions. So there were plenty of reasons, not counting fear of WMD, for Congress to have wanted to remove Saddam — and indeed a majority of Democratic senators, including Harry Reid, John Kerry, and Hillary Clinton, and sizable numbers of House Democrats voted for the resolutions. The administration erred in hyping one or two writs concerning WMD, and today the result is that we have completely forgotten the congressional authorizations in late 2002 and their rather long litany of Saddam’s transgressions — which had earlier led Bill Clinton to push through a regime-change authorization of his own (the Iraqi Liberation Act of 1998).

Victor Davis Hanson — NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won.

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