In an op-ed in yesterdays edition of the Washington Times Bruce Bartlett of the National Center for Policy Analysis regrets his previous support for the Iraq War:
I for one would not have supported the war if I thought its principal justification was the liberation of the Iraqi people, which is what the White House now says was its primary mission. Our military exists to defend the nation, not be the worlds policeman. If there is a linkage, President Bush has yet to make it.
Bruce has a narrow, much too narrow, view of what our national interest is. We can pursue our nations interest even while doing good for others; we have always done so. He also doesnt seem to understand the nature of political rhetoric. So what is it now, in a war, that he doesnt understand? What is it, in a war that we are now in, that he doesnt support? Awkward for him, isnt it?
Linkage? How about a terrorist training camp at Salman Pak that had a Boeing plane parked and immobile for years and at which foreign terrorists (ie, non-Iraqis) received training on how to hijack airplanes with box cutters? Saddam paying Palestinian suicide bomber families? Hosting elements of Al Qaeda? Ansar al Islam? Ramzi Yousef, the first WTC bomber, welcomed into Baghdad even though he is supposedly a Kuwaiti, yet with apparent links to Iraqi military intelligence?
Linkage is not the problem; people who stick their fingers in their ears and sing "LALALALA" and then wonder why they dont understand, that is the problem.
Do you think it is in our interest to remain in Iraq to the extent that we are, now that we have defeated and captured Sadam?
I think it is in our interest to set up a "democratic" and moderate Iraq. It will be good for Iraq, the region, and is in our long-term interest. I admit that the task is (and will be) hard.