January 07, 2004

The First Post-Saddam Month

Samizdata has an interesting post on the (waning?) Iraqi insurgency.

It's, of course, way too early to make any determinations about the course of counter-insurgency efforts in Iraq. But just in case you have been reading too much, say, Juan Cole of late--it's good to take a look at the brighter side of things now and again.

Note: I have much respect for Professor Cole's obvious passion and knowledge on matters Middle East. His site does indeed perform as advertised, ie. provide his readers "informed comment."

But, of late, some of his prose re: French "martyrs" or the "Triangular meat grinder" have sounded a bit, er, Fiskian in tenor and tone.

Here's a passage that, I think most judicious observers would agree, is over the top:

"Clark has also pointed out that it makes no sense for the US to occupy Iraq for its oil, if that is what is going on. Iraq's oil is useless unless it is pumped, and if it is pumped then it goes on the world market for sale, and anyone, including the US, can buy it. It is not necessary for the US to put its troops through the Triangular meat grinder to get oil."

I continue to maintain that the real reason we went to war in Iraq was because of WMD given our post 9/11 risk posture (click here for an update on the whole WMD issue, B.D. will have more on this later too).

Yes, intelligence may have been too aggressively analyzed by some in the Administration--but there was a sincere fear that Saddam's WMD capabilities were significant and some credible intelligence to that effect did exist.

Put simply, the American people were not subjected to a massive hoodwinking re: WMD so as to serve as a mere pretext to secure stockpiles of Mesopotamian crude. And it's irresponsible of Cole to so suggest.

More: In fairness to Cole, one does espy a tad bit of optimism in this interesting post reacting to an opinion poll of Iraqis.

Posted by Gregory at January 7, 2004 01:26 PM
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