Monday, October 11, 2004

No weapons of mass destruction

The conclusion of the Duelfer report is devastating:

There were no stockpiles of WMD, or programmes to produce WMD. Despite public statements made before the war by Bush, Blair and officials and pundits on both sides of the Atlantic to the contrary, the ISG report concludes that all of Iraq's WMD stockpiles had been destroyed in 1991, and WMD programmes and facilities dismantled by 1996.

Nevertheless, a substantial minority of the general public continues to support the President's decision to invade Iraq. Tragically, it may be enough to get him elected.

How could so many continue to support the war, when the reasons for it have been revealed to be utterly false? The answer is chilling -- there are those who like war. At least as a spectator sport. I believe that there are a large number of people who believe that might is right, and who get some kind of vicarious satisfaction over the defeat of an official "enemy." I put enemy in quotes, because Saddam was an enemy only because the powers that be in this country declared him as such. Before he was an enemy, he was an ally. Never mind such niceties.

The implications of these two observations are hard to ignore. A large part of the population will support a war for any reason, or no reason at all, against any official enemy. And any country can be turned into an enemy at will.

Iraq in this sense was just an experiment. How ready are the American people to support unbridled wars of aggression? We find out in early November.


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