WFB on Charles Duelfer's report
William F. Buckley casts his eye on the findings in the Duelfer Report:
The coalition powers, led by the U.S., believe that Saddam has weapons sufficient to repel the U.S. and to threaten other nations. Saddam thinks the very same thing. The U.S. acts on its assumption (it invades), and Saddam acts on the same assumption (he does nothing to abort war).As always, it's a great read.
And a lot of countries whose merchants violated the U.N. embargo are angry with the United States for proceeding to war against a country whose threat against others could only have been realized by successful defiance of the U.N. embargo.
"He does not control the northern part of his country. We are able to keep arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt."
--Condoleezza Rice, 2001
"[Saddam] has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors."
--Colin Powell, 2001
"...After three months of intrusive inspections, we have to date found no evidence or plausible indication of the revival of a nuclear weapon program in Iraq."
--IAEA/UN nuclear inspector Mohamed ElBaradei, 2003, before the war
(ElBaradei usually errs on the side of caution, so from him, "no plausible indication" is saying a lot)
"With the benefit of minute hindsight, Saddam Hussein wasn't the kind of extra-territorial menace that was assumed by the administration one year ago. If I knew then what I know now about what kind of situation we would be in, I would have opposed the war."
--William F. Buckley, Jr.
You know what? It's not about hindsight. It's about keeping your eyes open before you put American lives on the line in a reckless military operation.