Volokh Blog Challenge
For the readers directed here from The Volokh Conspiracy, one of the links listed on my blog actually goes to a website filled with erotic photos of Kitty Dukakis. Start clicking.
Orin Kerr over at The Volokh Conspiracy has issued a challenge to the pro-Iraq War bloggers.
First, assuming that you were in favor of the invasion of Iraq at the time of the invasion, do you believe today that the invasion of Iraq was a good idea? Why/why not?
My support for military intervention in Iraq predates 2003 and as a matter of fact predates Bush 43.
I dont see how anyone gets around the fact that a Hussein-led Iraq was a threat to the United States. The supporting facts are compelling;
- Iraq provided material support for suicide bombers who, in turn, targeted and murdered American citizens. It is impossible to separate Hussein from the war on terror. As long as he was in power, an endless flow of money (helpfully supplied via the UNs oil-for-food program) would have been routed to global terrorists.
- His anti-aircraft batteries were firing on American & British patrol aircraft on a daily basis. It was only Iraqi incompetence and the expertise of our pilots that prevented the deaths of fighters patrolling the no-fly zones.
- Hussein blatantly and serially violated numerous UN resolutions. Although we now know that he was only biding his time until the restrictions were lifted so he could re-start his weapons programs, his non-compliance had to be met with repercussions.
- Its the height of naivete to conclude that the presence of Abu Abbas & Abdul Rahman Yasin (among others) in Iraq was a coincidence. Iraq was a central clearinghouse for terrorist planning, training and funding.
Second, what reaction do you have to the not-very-upbeat news coming of Iraq these days, such as the stories I link to above?
I was initially very apprehensive about our occupation post-overthrow. I much preferred a rapid withdrawl to eliminate the appearance of the new government as an American puppet regime. However, time has demonstrated that method to be overly optimistic. A faster withdrawal would have left the reformers in a very dangerous and precarious situation. Though bloody and tenous, our extended involvement has been necessary to the stabilization of a previously murderous regime. We can always nitpick the military's decisions vis a vis Fallujah and Najaf, but their are no easy answers and being more aggressive could just as easily led to more insurgency.
Third, what specific criteria do you recommend that we should use over the coming months and years to measure whether the Iraq invasion has been a success?
Based on the above terms, the invasion of Iraq is already a success. The Iraqi government is no longer giving millions to Palestinian suicide bombers. The terrorists in Iraq are being hunted and killed. Hussein is no longer plotting a revitalization of his weapons programs. The rape rooms have been taken out of service. Iraqi children are being fed and immunized.
Certainly we have a way to go. But the January elections will deal a serious if not mortal blow to the foreign and domestic terror elements in-country. The installation of any tyoe of democracy in the Middle East can only have positive impacts throughout the rest of the region. Its already had an impact in Libya. And although the rhetoric out of Iran has been on the increase, the mullahs have internal problems of their own.
We were faced with a choice;
Either respond to increasingly deadly terror attacks as we had for 20 years (with strategic Tomahawk strikes & indictments)
Proactively eliminate terrorists, their funding and the nation-states that support them.
We made the right choice.