Well, still no <echo_chamber>Weapons of Mass Destruction</echo_chamber>. Looks like we started a war, ticked off the whole world, got ourselves stuck in a no-win occupation, for something that wasn't there, and hadn't been there for years. What happened?
Well, Digby has a possible answer. It seems like all of our intelligence was based on data from 1998 or before. What happened in 1998? Well, that's when the UN inspectors left. Why did they leave? We were getting ready to bomb the crap out of Saddam. We did so at the end of 1998, in Operation Desert Fox.
Since the inspectors were gone, we didn't really have "on the ground" data on just how effective those strikes were. Digby's hypotheses is that we wiped out both the stored WMD and the facilities needed to manufacture them, to the level that it wasn't practical to rebuild them.
BushCo has this interesting blind spot. To them, the years between 1993 and 2001 seem to never have happened. Their hatred for all things Clinton blinds them to the possibility that he might, just possibly, have done something right.
"Wag the Dog, Wag the Dog" cried the Right at the time. "It's just to try to divert attention from Impeachment". It'd be really funny if this blind spot brings down Georgie. Face it, this situation ain't gonna get any prettier. It largely depends on the attention span the Press can muster.
Starting a War
"It wasn't all about the WMD" goes the bleat from the Right. "We rescued the Iraqi people from a horrible tyrant". Well, we did. But that's not an excuse for a war. Other places, like Burma, are worse (and the Burmese junta claims to be Communist, to boot!). In any case, the Right has never displayed any compassion for Oppressed Peoples before.
There are two reasons to go to war, in international law:
- Clear and present danger.
- A recognized international organization gives the go-ahead.
Bush & co failed miserably on reason 2. The runup to this war was, frankly, the most howlingly inept piece of diplomacy I've ever seen. Yeah, BushCo claims that the UN resolutions were sufficient. The rest of the UN disagrees -- and it's their opinion that counts,not ours.. This leaves the first. Now, not even the most deluded right-wingnut believed that Saddam was going to invade the US. The "clear and present danger" came solely from his possession of WMD. No WMD, no danger. No danger, no justification. And the continuing hoohah over the African uranium demonstrates that at least some of the data that we used to justify the invasion was known to be bogus.
"So what?" says the Right. Well, it's an established legal principal that you don't just make up evidence against Bad Guys, no matter how Bad they are. If you do, you'll get called on it. In a criminal case, the Bad Guy will propbably go free if you get caught at it. We had a case here locally where a cop perjured herself to lock up some Bad Guys. They walked. (So did she, but the damage was done.)
So what will the repercussions be? It's too early to tell, but it looks like the rest of the world won't give us a pass on this one. Enough groveling and arse kissing might get us some international cooperation, but it would be 'way out of character for BushCo.
LATER -- Here's an editorial on the bigger picture -- the whole "Bush Doctrine" of preemptive war. This is a much bigger issue than figuring out if Georgie was clueless, misinformed, or lying in his teeth in the State of the Union speech. (link via TalkLeft)