Re: The Capture


Yes, I will still be unhappy with Bush if Iraq is a success. In my view this was an illegal invasion that did serious damage to our position in the world and historically will mark the decline of the US's great friendship with Europe.

As far as being uneasy with all this good news for Bush, I agree with the proposition that this is tremendously good news for Iraq, but how can you say it's good for America? A stronger Bush means most likely a reelected Bush, which means 4 more years of backwards policies, both foreign and domestic. Does this mean I wish we hadn't caught him? Of course not... but am I 100% happy about the outcome? Certainly not.

Posted by: paul | Link to this comment | 12-14-03 1:39 PM
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Did I say it was good for America?

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-14-03 1:47 PM
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Hmmm... I guess you didn't say that outright, maybe I read it into your comment about the left actively wishing the country ill.

Posted by: paul | Link to this comment | 12-14-03 1:57 PM
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if Iraq becomes a great success, then will you still be so unhappy with George Bush?

Ogged, it's too late for Iraq to become a success. Might things get better? Sure. Will that ever make this whole Iraq operation a success? Never.

Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 12-14-03 4:53 PM
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Actually, I disagree with that, Michael. Maybe my hawkishness is showing, but I think it's far too early to judge whether the invasion has been a success or a failure. My inconvenient (by US election standards) time-frame for judging the outcome is 5-10 years. Before then, I think it's almost impossible to make a reasonable, non-partisan judgement of the facts. I admit that it seems badly botched, but there aren't many things happening in Iraq that strike me as avoidable. In other words, we have lots of evidence that planning was deficient, but not a lot of evidence that good planning would have made a difference at this stage.

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-14-03 5:02 PM
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A friend of mine posted (in a personal blog, so I'm not going to provide a link) that her first reaction to the news was terror, that Saddam's capture might help Bush get re-elected.

While that's not "actively wishing our country ill-will", it is a pretty good example of irrational Bush-hatred distorting the ability to make sound moral judgements.

Posted by: Anthony | Link to this comment | 12-15-03 1:37 PM
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Ogged, interesting argument. I will say I'm doubtful it's true that proper planning wouldn't have helped us at this point. Regardless, I still deplore the Administration's conduct during this war. And as for success in Iraq, how are we to measure that? Just so that conditions are slightly better for the Iraqi people? Or is "success" the peace and freedom from fear the Bush promised them? Call me a cynic, but I'm not holding my breath for that last one.

Anthony, I don't see why you're friend's and many others' reactions might not be rational moral judgments. Considering that Saddam was at the bottom of a hole, it's a reasonable assumption that he was no real danger to the US. Bush's re-election, on the other hand, represents a real danger to the US, in terms of our debt and the state of our domestic programs. So in terms of the greater good, it would be better that Saddam remain hidden than Bush be re-elected.

If the Dems are smart, however, finding Saddam will not Bush win re-election. They should press the reasoning that finding this man and interrogating will ultimately, as I think it will, show that we had no viable national security reason for attacking Iraq, and as a matter of a pre-emptive defensive policy, the Iraq war has been a horrible failure. And, has everyone forgotten about Osama? And what about the failure that Afghanistan has become? In this media frenzy over catching Saddam, everyone has forgotten that we seem to be losing the real war on terror. Saddam's a bad guy, but his ignomious capture shows just how unimportant he actually was.

Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 12-16-03 5:13 PM
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