Bob's Links and Rants

Welcome to my rants page! You can contact me by e-mail: Blog roll. Site feed.

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

How's this for a theory. It may not be original, but I don't recall reading it anywhere, at least recently.

Here's the theory: The Bushies, of course, wanted to invade Iraq. That was their given. But last summer they weren't sure if Iraq had WMD's or not and were afraid that those weapons, if they existed, might make invasion and taking over the oil wells too difficult and expensive. So they had to find a way to find out for sure if the weapons were actually there, and the easiest way to do that was through UN inspectors. But to get Saddam to let inspectors back in after they had spied on him in the '90's, it was necessary to threaten him in a big way. So the administration cranked up the WMD talk, sent lots of troops to Kuwait, and conned Congress into approving a pre-emptive war. This forced the hand of the UN, who passed 1441 (which BTW does not say what the Bushies always say it said). The Bushies made it look like they thought that Saddam would refuse to let inspectors back in, but were secretly relieved when he did (in this theory). Despite what they said about hiding stuff in the desert and mobile labs, they knew that any serious WMD's had to be in a limited number of places. They told the UN inspectors to look there; they did, found nothing, and the "coalition" invaded, secure in the knowledge that they wouldn't face any significant WMD threat.

I'm not sure I believe it myself, but I think it's a plausible theory given what we know now. I've read some articles that said that February or March was the earliest that the invasion force could be ready, so Bush/Powell played the UN game in order to get a "fig leaf" of international approval for their oil grab. But given their disdain for the UN and diplomacy in general, I think it is at least as likely that they played the UN game precisely for the purpose of getting inspectors on the ground to verify what they suspected--that Iraq DID NOT have WMD's. And remember, before the war Bush kept insisting on something that now appears to have been impossible: that Saddam disarm. Bush did not insist that inspectors be given even greater access to even more sites, and I think the complaints about Iraqi scientists not being free to tell the truth about weapons programs was just the Bushies pretending that they believed that WMD's existed, when they were more sure every day that they did not.