A few little strokes of Occam's razor are enough to dispose of this whole accumulation of fantasy. Suppose that every single Iraqi defector or informant, funneled out of a closed and terrified society by the INC, had been a dedicated and conscious fabricator. How could they persuade a vast organization, equipped with satellite surveillance that can almost read a license plate from orbit, of a plain untruth? (Leave to one side the useful intelligence that was provided by the INC and that has been acknowledged.) Well, what was the likelihood that ambiguous moves made by Saddam's agents were also innocuous moves? After decades in which the Baathists had been caught cheating and concealing, what room was there for the presumption of innocence? Hans Blix, the see-no-evil expert who had managed to certify Iraq and North Korea as kosher in his time, has said in print that he fully expected a coalition intervention to uncover hidden weaponry.What he does not say, but is obvious, is that calling yourself "dumb and gullible" is not really a solid election-winning tactic, even given the president's low numbers right now.
And this, of course, it actually has done. We did not know and could not know, until after the invasion, of Saddam's plan to buy long-range missiles off the shelf from Pyongyang, or of the centrifuge components buried on the property of his chief scientist, Dr. Mahdi Obeidi. The Duelfer report disclosed large latent facilities that were only waiting for the collapse of sanctions to resume activity. Ah, but that's not what you said you were looking for. ... Could pedantry be pushed any further?
We can now certify Iraq as disarmed, even if the materials once declared by the Saddam regime and never accounted for have still not been found. Why does this certified disarmament upset people so much? Would they rather have given Saddam the benefit of the doubt?
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Believe It or Not
Christopher Hitchens asks "What do you have to believe in order to keep alive your conviction that the Bush administration conspired to launch a lie-based war?"
Posted by Tom at 5:03 PM