Barbara Boxer's History
Yet up on Capitol Hill, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had been called before a Senate committee. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) was one of those who questioned her. Boxer was obnoxious and frightening. She made reference to the Holocaust, offensively. More important, she demonstrated that she doesn't know U.S. history , and she implied that the American people don't either. And she raised an alarming question about contemporary politics. We often hear from Democrats that President Bush's policy in Iraq makes no sense. But how can it make sense to the Barbara Boxers of Congress if they can't understand the explanation?
Gelernter talks about how the goals in all wars change during the war:
The administration, Boxer noted (correctly), has changed focus on Iraq. We went to war mainly on account of weapons of mass destruction and international terrorism, she said. But WMD turned out to be a hoax on the whole world, and nowadays we are told that our Iraq mission is gigantic. We plan for a freed Iraq to inspire and stabilize the entire Middle East and to promote democracy everywhere. What kind of bait-and-switch is the administration playing with the American people?Rice answered that this is the way the world works . For example, we did not go into World War II to build a democratic Germany…. Here Boxer interrupted. World War II, she told Rice curtly, has nothing to do with Iraq. Boxer had lost relatives in the Holocaust. No one had to tell her about World War II.But Rice's analogy was exactly fight. And by the way, using the Holocaust as a bat to beat political enemies over the head is demeaning to Jews and to human dignity. Having lost relatives in the Holocaust does not, in any case, confer expertise in U.S. history.
I will have to slightly disagree with Gelernter with this point. The Iraq war is and has always been about WMD. Bush made the argument that we need regime change to make us safer... he said that other free countries will be less likely to produce and want to use WMD on its neighbors or give them to terrorists. Bush reaches this goal because he realizes it will be impossible in the future to keep WMD from being used on the United States - no matter how many bags we search or walls we build. Bush also recognized that Saddam Hussein had the most concentrated power and wealth of any fanatical dictator in the world. If Saddam were around today, his 3 million barrels a day would be grossing his personal bank account more than $50 billion. This is larger than the defense budgets of Britain and France (who both have Nukes) and Saddam only has to pay his solders penuts. Further, we know from Saddam's own lips and past experience that he would be spending a large portion of that on WMD.
I also think that the IRaq war is all about winning the war on terror. As I have argued before on this blog, Iraq was forced on the Terrorists by Bush to be the central battlefield. It is a better battlefield for us than Afghanistan or anywhere else...
Thus, Saddam had to be taken out.