The Iraq war debate we should have had

In September 2002, James Webb wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post saying that if we invaded Iraq we would be occupying that country for the next 50 years, our troops would become terrorist targets, and the occupation would drain our ability to defend our nation elsewhere. All true. I wish I had known of this article at the time. (I have also highlighted a Patrick Buchanan article from the same period that warned our troops would become terrorist targets; unfortunately, Buchanan did not stick to rational, pro-American arguments like that but went for all-out appeasement of Islam.) But Webb failed to address the central question of the war debate: how, in the absence of an invasion, we could prevent what everyone believed to be the case, Husseinís continuing possession and development of WMDs and the reasonable likelihood he would pass them on to terrorist groups.

There was only one answer that would both address the WMD threat and avoid the disaster of a long-term occupation: to invade Iraq, topple the regime, search out WMDs, quickly set up a replacement regime without worrying whether it was democratic or not, and withdraw our forces, while perhaps leaving a forward base in the area away from population centers.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 26, 2006 08:37 AM | Send

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