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June 04, 2004


Alan Green

While I accept that there were deep reasons for going to war with Iraq, I fail to see why those reasons were not publicly debated beforehand. For a government to commit a country to as major a course of action as a long-term war without consulting its population is a major failure of democracy.

Gary Robinson

You raise a really major point and honestly my personal feelings about it are mixed.

I doubt if we would have gone to war without the idea that Saddam was hiding WMD's being the domainating factor. But apparently there were no WMD's being hidden.

So, if the truth was known, and the attacking Iraq was debated purely on the deeper issues, it probably wouldn't have happened. People just don't make such big decisions based on such factors. We didn't even enter WW II after Germany had conquered a significant number of countries; it seems obvious in retrospect that we should have, but we didn't until we were attacked by Japan.

So, I am not comfortable with the fact that the pre-war debate focused on the wrong issue. On the other hand, I think that the end result may turn out to be be exactly what we need in the long run, and wouldn't have happened if we didn't go into it the way we did.

Gary Robinson

One question of course is whether Bush and crew dishonestly and cynically manipulated events by means of the WMD issue.

The evidence I see is that the answer to that question is "no". But I have a feeling that they did have a strong desire to believe what they believed so that they could get the outcome they wanted, and I think it's quite plausible that that clouded their judgement with wishful thinking.

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