Why does it have to be the case (with both the O’Neil and Clarke stories, just to name two), that the only possible explanation that Bush went to war with Iraq because of some deranged reaction to 911, and that further that from the moment of the attack he was scheming and planning o how to get Saddam?Taylor also says that he is going to get seriously tired of the Clarke story very soon. I so agree. Didn't we just go through this with the Paul O'Neill/Suskind book?
Why is it not a reasonable position that Bush, after 911, began to formulate a foreign policy view of the world in which he saw 1) Iraq as a potential threat, and 2) a place where an example could be made and, 3) (hopefully) a secular quasi-democracy which could be built in the Middle East, all for the purpose of fighting terrorism?
Now, one can think this a poor, indeed a ridiculous, set of policy choices. One could critique specific elements of the policy. One could say that there were better ways to use our resources. So (and here’s the main question): why don’t we have a public argument about those issues, rather than going on about the President’s “lies” or these stories about how the President simply planned to go to Iraq because of 911, and everything else was just subterfuge?
Doesn’t Occam’s Razor dictate that Bush went to war with Iraq essentially for the reasons he said he went to war, rather than these tortured attempts to cast the policy as some delusional fantasy?
There is one major, gigantic, huge, etc. hole in this argument that Bush was hell-bent on blaming Iraq and attacking Iraq: and that is, we didn't attack Iraq immediately after 911. If Bush was indeed myopically focused on Iraq, and was either too stupid to understand anything else, or was willing to lie to get at Iraq, why didn't we just launch a war on Iraq in 2001? Answer: the President wasn't blindly gunning for Iraq.The other meme I'm heartily sick of is the accusation that Bush went after Hussein because he tried to kill Bush's father or that Bush had some psychological need to fix what his father didn't finish. Does anyone seriously believe, no matter how much you despise Bush, that he would needlessly take this country to war and risk American lives because of a Daddy issue? Remember all the predictions before the war of how many people would be killed in a Stalingrad-like siege in Baghdad? No one knew at the time how easily we would militarily defeat Saddam and drive him from power. This was not a psychological fixation by any means. And think of all the people in his administration who supported the attack on Iraq. Do all those evil neo-conservatives have the same Daddy fixation? I don't think so.
And a follow-up, while I understand that the administration believed that there were al Qaeda ties to the Saddam regime (a debatable, but not insane notion), we did not launch a war a year ago on the argument that Saddam was responsible for 911.
This whole: "see! Bush was just looking for an excuse to attack Iraq and used 911 to do it" simply lack a logical foundation. There are numerous routes by which to argue with the administration's Iraq policy, indeed its entire foreign agenda, but this isn't one of them.