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Jay Mazumdar is right when he reminds us that we need to be precise about what we talk about: "The likelihood of Iraq having no WMDs seems pretty thin considering who Saddam was, how big Iraq is, and how many of its neighbors also seems to have WMDs. The WMDs probably are there, as the newly discovered trailers demonstrate. The question we should be emphasizing is whether Saddam ever had enough WMDs to present an imminent threat that justified a preventive, unilateral war lacking international legitimacy."

The war is over; what's the answer to this question?


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Comments (1)

Dave S:

Isn't the basic point of WMDs is that practically any amount of them presents a significant threat (at least, when you have a delivery system like missiles or terrorists)?

If not, then we should probably rethink the terminology.

Honestly, I'm in the camp that he didn't have to have WMDs to justify removing him from power. Milosevic didn't need them to justify our actions in the Balkans, did he? Now that we know the true scope of Iraqi civilian deaths was in the thousands, not the tens or hundreds of thousands as some predicted, it seems like the US decided to put the lives of its own citizens on the line, and spend its own money, to liberate another nation's people from a murderous tyrant. One could certainly argue that this goal was not worth the sacrifice of a couple hundred US/UK soldiers, but I think that is a pretty selfish argument given the nature of Saddam's regime.

Also, I will admit that if we mess up the peace -- if Iraq ends up in a bloody civil war or with just another dictatorship, then the war no longer looks like a good idea. But right now, it seems unlikely that either of those things will happen.


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