omehow, TheCSO and I have gotten into the habit of having long-winded political conversations on Saturday mornings. Between my working and teaching and his working and hanging out with the guys, we don't have enough conversation time in the evenings right now, and we tend to make it up on the weekends.
Last week, we reviewed every aspect of the IHOP shooting, including my attempt to play Nancy Drew. Today, it was a lengthy discussion of the Corey Maye case that somehow turned into a talk about the war in Iraq.
I tried this theory out on a message board a bit ago, and have refined it somewhat through my talks with the CSO and a few things Joel Monka had to say there.
As far as I can tell, we got into the war in Iraq one of three ways:
1. Weapons of Mass Destruction didn't really exist on a scale worth worrying about, but served as a convenient excuse to get us into a war that the administration wanted for less politically palatable reasons. Whether you want to take the real reasons as the PNAC explanation of "We're going to have to conquer that whole region eventually and Iraq is a useful place to start strategically," the Bush-as-a-politically-motivated-incompetant explanation that is was distracting the people from the fact that we can't find Bin Laden and the economy isn't in good shape, or the "We did it for the oil" explanation, they all stem from this basic line of thinking.
2. Another possibility is that WMDs didn't exist on a scale worth worrying about but we didn't know it. This explanation sucks the least for the administration, though it still makes them look plenty bad. It seems pretty hard to believe, but two ideas that make it more believeable are that:
A. We big time overestimated how powerful the Soviet Union was, right up until it collapsed.
B. As Joel pointed out, Saddam was not a rational creature. He had a tendency to shoot people who gave him bad news and there is some evidence that HIS OWN intelligence said that Iraq had more firepower than it did.
3. Backup Emergency Mark pointed out once, it's always possible that Iraq did have some significant WMDs and snuck them out to Syria or Iran. Some conservatives have defended the war with this idea. I don't really understand that at all. Saddam really did mostly want to screw with his own people. Iran would have easily creamed him two decades ago if we hadn't stepped in to save the guy. Iran and Syria both seem much more dangerous than Iraq and if WMDs did exist, I am far less comfortable with them in Iranian or Syrian hands.
Three explanations, and three for three are disturbing.