Well, that’s that, then. Thanks to the not-insubstantial blunders of Dubya’s crack diplomatic team, it looks like we’ll be going to war WITHOUT UN approval. True, I’ve always approached this venture in Iraq with a good deal of skepticism, particularly after its success in sucking all the news out of the room during the summer of Enron. And I was disgusted by the capitulation of Congress last fall in washing their hands of the matter and ceding their constitutionally-mandated authority to declare war over to Dubya. But I still think I could have been sold on the necessity of this conflict if a clear case had ever been made by the Bushies. And, frankly, that case has not been made. Instead we’ve gotten a series of half-truths and rhetorical flourishes attempting to conflate Iraq and Al Qaeda in the American mind, despite the fact that the two despise each other (Saddam is a secular despot while Bin Laden is a fundamentalist freakshow.) And whatsmore, Dubya has now managed in two short years to squander virtually all of America’s once-considerable reservoir of international goodwill in order to prosecute a war for which the rationale still remains blurry.
The Pentagon tells us that we will win a war against Iraq with minimal difficulty, and I think they’re probably right (although obviously there are a number of Saddam-unleashing-WMD-upon-troops and/or Israel scenarios that are almost too horrifying to contemplate.) But I hold very little optimism for our handling of the post-war world — when much of the international community considers us a rogue nation and the Middle East suspects us of imperialistic intentions — given that our actions up to this point only prove that it’s currently Amateur Hour in the White House and State Department.