As I said in an earlier post, the fact that no weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq does not give opponents to the invasion of Iraq the right to say "I told you so." Because, frankly, we didn't tell them so.
On the other hand, this does.
As I said in the leadup to invasion, my greatest fear was that the proponents of the war were going in with the impression that the whole affair would be a "cakewalk". I feared that the American military machine might get bogged down as an already volatile situation degenerated. True, neither the Turks nor the Iranians look ready to invade, and the Kurds still appear to be happy, but resistence to the American occupation isn't fading, it's growing. Recently even the British, in the very anti-Saddam Shiite south, were attacked.
What does this mean to the Bush Administration? Well, unless Saddam Hussein is found, dead or alive and soon, the hornets' nest in the United States' hands might just wake up and start stinging, and that will have serious implications throughout the Middle East, not to mention for American or international security.
It's one more blow to the Bush Administration's credibility, who listened to war proponents who claimed that the war would be a cakewalk and which is now trying to downplay the significance of this guerilla resistence. First, the Administration said that Saddam's weapons of mass destruction were a direct and imminent threat to the security of the United States. Then the weapons vanished. Now they say that the legions of flagwaving Iraqis welcoming their liberators justified the invasion. Only, they seem to be as real as clean running post-invasion water in this country. Indeed, it seems they may never have been there to the extent the Bush Administration expected.
The obvious question for the "I told you so" crowd, of course, is that if there were no weapons of mass destruction, and there wasn't the expected Iraqi support for the invasion, why did the Bush Administration go in there again?
But that's glib. To me, it just illustrates that my fears of a botched post-invasion administration are coming true. The Bush Administration has shown that they have neither the interest nor the determination to craft the only thing that can resolve the Middle East and end terrorism once and for all: a Middle East Marshall Plan.
Just like in Afghanistan, where a lack of real Allied commitment means that order only exists (if that) in Kabul, the occupation of Iraq was badly planned, and is unlikely to ensure the long term peace and stability of Iraq, the Middle East and, ultimately, America. Not that this is the first time that an administration, or even a country, has decided to just conquer and run. But it is yet another example of sloppy planning from the Bush Administration that is costing American lives, not to mention the lives of Iraqis. Just like the Bush Administration's disdain for diplomacy, they have a disdain for details, or anything that requires rolling up their sleeves and doing more than just drop bombs. The campaign was deftly planned but everything else was either cynically manipulated or sloppily rushed out. Measure once, cut twice, and damn anybody who tells you you're doing it wrong.
Well, details can kill you, and the fault for that lies squarely at the top. If order in Iraq collapses, it will be yet another example to show that George W. Bush heads the worst presidential administration in the history of the United States.
I've rearranged my categories slightly, grouping all of my articles on Iraq together in one space. This is one issue that has matured over the course of my blog, and it's interesting to read my changing views on the subject, from the very beginning...
Simply click the "Politics - Iraq / MidEast" link at the bottom of this article.