Everyone seems to forget that, regardless of intelligence errors or even cherry-picking, what we now know about the absence of WMD in Iraq was indeed knowable prior to the invasion.
Now that Jeb Bush (R-FL), the last Republican holdout, has admitted the Iraq War was a mistake, "knowing what we know now," the next logical question is whether, knowing what you thought you knew then, then, whether you would have waited to determine if you were right before invading.
If indeed accurate information is all they needed to have made the right decision on Iraq, it follows that they would have wanted accurate information if they could obtain it.
Because, to put a fine point on it, the vote for the Iraq War was really a vote to trust George W. Bush, authorizing war, but using that threat to force Saddam Hussein to agree to intrusive inspections.
I fault anyone for trusting George W. Bush, and certainly for trusting the cabal of chickenhawks around him, whispering sweet-nothings in his ear about how this empty vessel might become an historic figure by sending other peoples' children to establish a liberal democracy in Iraq.
Hence, I fault Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, and other Democrats and Republicans who should have known better, because they knew the ideologies of Perle, Feith, Wolfowitz (current Jeb advisor who told the Senate that the Sunnis and Shiites have not fought each other for decades, so there was no threat of civil war), Cheney and Rumsfeld.
Much as I fault them, however, it is very valid to say that they voted the war authority to get the intrusive inspections and expected those inspections to be completed before they launched a war, and that the clear implication was that war would not be launched without evidence.
Hence, truly, in the end, the choice for war by refusing to know the truth was Bush's alone.
If, indeed, the wannabees all claim that, knowing what they knew then, they would have allowed the inspectors to complete their job so that they could have known then what they know now, then they have issued a searing indictment of the most recent past Republican president and his cronies, many of whom are now advising his brother.
They are indeed accusing the former president of waging aggressive war that was defined as a war crime by the Nuremberg Trials.
I have always believed that the reason they did not want to let the inspectors finish is that they feared that nothing of consequence was there (a former inspector, Scott Ritter, told them as much), and thus the entire case for waging aggressive war would have crumbled.
And, they wanted war.
Remember, the inspectors had discovered unarmed missiles that were in technical violations of UN resolutions, and were destroying them on the spot. The United States was supplying inspectors with sites they "knew" harbored WMD, and found that they did not. So the neoconistas started complaining about compliance and about the inspectors themselves.
Nothing proves that the Bush Administration wanted war, and that everything else was a charade, better than their unwillingness to let the UN inspectors finish their work.
So, what is it wannabees? Would you have waited for the inspectors to discover then what you know now, that you said makes the war a mistake?
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