"A matter of emphasis"
Suprise, surprise: Bush didn't bomb the hell out of Baghdad because he was worried about weapons of mass destruction
It's not shocking, just disgusting: now that they got what they wanted, some Bush admin officials are admitting that they didn't kill thousands of Iraqi civilians to protect the world from Saddam's supposed weapons of mass destruction after all. From the ABC report (found via Xoverboard):
To build its case for war with Iraq, the Bush administration argued that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, but some officials now privately acknowledge the White House had another reason for war — a global show of American power and democracy.Um, wait a minute. Global show of democracy? Global show of power, yes. But invading a country against the wishes of most of the world (and much of the U.S.) on false pretext just to show how big and tough America's military is, how is that, uh, democratic? And what happened to all that self-righteous crap about how the U.S. was protecting the world from Saddam and his weapons of mass destruction?
Anyway, Paul Krugman has the lowdown on why this matters (read the whole thing, "Matters of Emphasis"):
Does it matter that we were misled into war? Some people say that it doesn't: we won, and the Iraqi people have been freed. But we ought to ask some hard questions — not just about Iraq, but about ourselves.Yeah, that'd be nice. More:
First, why is our compassion so selective? In 2001 the World Health Organization — the same organization we now count on to protect us from SARS — called for a program to fight infectious diseases in poor countries, arguing that it would save the lives of millions of people every year. The U.S. share of the expenses would have been about $10 billion per year — a small fraction of what we will spend on war and occupation. Yet the Bush administration contemptuously dismissed the proposal.
Or consider one of America's first major postwar acts of diplomacy: blocking a plan to send U.N. peacekeepers to Ivory Coast (a former French colony) to enforce a truce in a vicious civil war. The U.S. complains that it will cost too much. And that must be true — we wouldn't let innocent people die just to spite the French, would we?
So it seems that our deep concern for the Iraqi people doesn't extend to suffering people elsewhere. I guess it's just a matter of emphasis. A cynic might point out, however, that saving lives peacefully doesn't offer any occasion to stage a victory parade.
Meanwhile, aren't the leaders of a democratic nation supposed to tell their citizens the truth?
One wonders whether most of the public will ever learn that the original case for war has turned out to be false. In fact, my guess is that most Americans believe that we have found W.M.D.'s. Each potential find gets blaring coverage on TV; how many people catch the later announcement — if it is ever announced — that it was a false alarm? It's a pattern of misinformation that recapitulates the way the war was sold in the first place. Each administration charge against Iraq received prominent coverage; the subsequent debunking did not.Sigh...