Sunday, October 10, 2004
Iraq's Bigger Picture (washingtonpost.com)

Jim Hoagland gets it wrong in this piece. Nobody is empathising with Hussein for failing to make WMDs. Nor is Kerry retrospectively defending him for acquiescing to the UN resolutions. And by no stretch of imagination is any one praising him for that, forget nominating him for the Nobel Prize!

Kerry campaign does not try underplaying the atrocities and corruption of the Hussein regime. Kerry's repeated insistence that he would have voted for the resolution to authorize the President to use force knowing then what he does now is an acknowledgement of the fact that Hussein's regime was problem that had to be handled. What they are insisting is that it was not so urgent that the Bush admn had to leave Afghanistan with a diluted security system and invade Iraq.

Let's draw a parallel here to clarify this position. Today, a genocide is going on in Darfur. Everyday, people are getting killed, or dying of starvation. Does that mean that the Bush admn should leave Iraq to the so-called National Guard, and prepare to invade Sudan? After all, the human crisis in Sudan is not just the responsibility of the United States. Every country that claims to be a responsible player in the world affairs has to play a part in handling that crisis. That effort to build an alliance should be led by the United States, as the pre-eminent power of this day.

The main justification from the Bush administration for going in alone (okay, with a handful of allies, including the UK, Italy, and Eritrea) was that it was not simply a human crisis handling which would be a common responsibility, but a specific threat for the United States. This part has been utterly denied by the Duefler report. The problem is that President Bush did not encertain that particular claim, which made it a War to Occupy Iraq, rather than an international effort to remove a dictator, and provide relief to the suffering people of Iraq. That is an crucial error in judgement that Bush has to be made accountable for.

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