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:: 8.02.2006 ::  

Howard Dean had it right on Iraq

The below post was lifted wholesale from Tom Tomorrow's blog (can you tell I'm catching up on my political reading?)
Looking backwards

Via Greenwald, here’s what unhinged loonie leftist Howard Dean was saying in February of 2003:

To this day, the President has not made a case that war against Iraq, now, is necessary to defend American territory, our citizens, our allies, or our essential interests.

The Administration has not explained how a lasting peace, and lasting security, will be achieved in Iraq once Saddam Hussein is toppled.

I, for one, am not ready to abandon the search for better answers.

As a doctor, I was trained to treat illness, and to examine a variety of options before deciding which to prescribe. I worried about side effects and took the time to see what else might work before proceeding to high-risk measures. . . .

We have been told over and over again what the risks will be if we do not go to war.

We have been told little about what the risks will be if we do go to war.

If we go to war, I certainly hope the Administration’s assumptions are realized, and the conflict is swift, successful and clean. I certainly hope our armed forces will be welcomed like heroes and liberators in the streets of Baghdad. I certainly hope Iraq emerges from the war stable, united and democratic. I certainly hope terrorists around the world conclude it is a mistake to defy America and cease, thereafter, to be terrorists.

It is possible, however, that events could go differently, and that the Iraqi Republican Guard will not sit out in the desert where they can be destroyed easily from the air.

It is possible that Iraq will try to force our troops to fight house to house in the middle of cities - on its turf, not ours - where precision-guided missiles are of little use. . . .

There are other risks. Iraq is a divided country, with Sunni, Shia and Kurdish factions that share both bitter rivalries and access to large quantities of arms.

Iran and Turkey each have interests in Iraq they will be tempted to protect with or without our approval. . . .

Some people simply brush aside these concerns, saying there were also a lot of dire predictions before the first Gulf War, and that those didn’t come true.

We have learned through experience to have confidence in our armed forces - and that confidence is very well deserved.

But if you talk to military leaders, they will tell you there is a big difference between pushing back the Iraqi armed forces in Kuwait and trying to defeat them on their home ground.

There are limits to what even our military can do. Technology is not the solution to every problem.

And here’s a description of what the very serious thinker Paul Wolfowitz was saying at the same moment in time:

In his testimony, Mr. Wolfowitz ticked off several reasons why he believed a much smaller coalition peacekeeping force than General Shinseki envisioned would be sufficient to police and rebuild postwar Iraq. He said there was no history of ethnic strife in Iraq, as there was in Bosnia or Kosovo. He said Iraqi civilians would welcome an American-led liberation force that “stayed as long as necessary but left as soon as possible,” but would oppose a long-term occupation force. And he said that nations that oppose war with Iraq would likely sign up to help rebuild it. “I would expect that even countries like France will have a strong interest in assisting Iraq in reconstruction,” Mr. Wolfowitz said.

:: Deb 1:14 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::


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