Wednesday, January 30, 2008
the mask has cracked:
Mel Goodman debated David Wurmser and wrote it up for Larry Johnson's blog. According to Goodman, Wurmser came up with a new post-facto justification for the war:
Instead, Wurmser argued that the Bush administration believed there were significant geopolitical reasons for going to war and offered a fanciful explanation that broke totally new ground. Wurmser said that Cheney, Feith, and Bolton were convinced that U.S. containment of Saddam Hussein was failing and that the controls to keeping Saddam Hussein from expanding his regional influence were “dying.” As a result, the Iraqi leader was in position to exploit the rising anti-Americanism in the region and to “break out” from the sanctions strategy and the no-fly zones to lead a “rogue coalition of nations to expel the United States from the region” and even “to wage war against the United States.”
That'll work. David Wurmser's reputation is looking better by the minute!
--Spencer Ackerman
The appalling thing is that that has the ring of truth--in the sense that the players named really did think that.

We know from Wolfowitz/Vanity Fair that WMD was simply a lowest common denominator rationale to excite/alarm the public. Which has, then, always left the question of why they really did go to war.

The usual explanation has been that they could, that the obliteration of Saddam would be an object lesson to anyone else we wanted to bully. That was possible, but left out the geopolitical element. While George Friedman at Stratfor has attempted (can I say) manfully tried to gin up a bases geopolitical rationale, no one on the inside ever articulated anything that led any credence to that, leaving it to seem like a post hoc explanation.

This provides such a rationale. Its opening premise isn't all that far off, but then it spins off into mad hyperbole, also a hallmark of Cheneyite thinking.

Good catch.
Blogger Wendell | 7:02 PM

One wonders how the Iranian acquisition of a nuclear weapon would have played in the context of, umm, Iraqi regional hegemony, was it?

Or, wait! Maybe the *Iraqis* would have conjured up the strategic masterstroke of a preventive war against *Iran* and then they would have reaped the massive geopolitical harvest of being bogged down endlessly in a foreign occupation. Wurmser's right, we couldn't stand by and let that happen. It would strengthen the Iraqis too much.
Blogger justinlogan | 7:30 PM