America has become a protection racket
A good post by Digby on the question of what it means if we don't find WMD in Iraq. We can already see attempts by pro-war advocates to suggest that the benefits of toppling Sadaam are so good that it really doesn't matter if what used to be the primary justification for the invasion turns out to be wrong. I have maintained for quite some time that this might have been the right action taken by the wrong people for the wrong reasons. In other words, it is possible that invading Iraq and removing Sadaam will be beneficial for Iraq and the middle-east far into the future. But only if it is done with an intent that matches that desire. It is my belief that the Bushies don't really give one damn about the oppression of the Iraqi people. Nor were they really all that concerned about WMD. There primary purpose in engaging in this conflict was to provide demonstrable evidence to the rest of the world that we WILL attack anyone, anywhere, any time we like, so people better get used to this new reality and...behave. We see this already with the recent comments from the PNAC crew that other countries on their list (Syria, Iran, North Korea) should pay heed to the lessons of Iraq. This is a foreign policy in which America's primary role is that of a protection racket. People can go about there business, just so long as they don't do anything that we don't like. Then they better watch out! Look what we did to Sadaam! What is wrong with this philosophy? If people fear us won't they be less likely to attack us? Won't they be more likely to side with us and work with us? Perhaps, in the short run. But remember this: the people of Iraq came to fear Sadaam. Yet they were more than happy to cheer as his statute came tumbling down. Fear is a poor motivator.