Tony Karon in Rootless Cosmopolitan:
Digging through my archives of “Tony Karon Weblog” emailings, I came across this gem sent out on December 14, 2002. Re-reading it reminds me of how clear it was, even then, that the Weapons of Mass Destruction case for invading Iraq was bogus, and that the “liberal hawk” case for supporting the invasion as an exercise in exporting democracy was equally mired in delusional fantasy.
As things stand, the Bush administration is looking increasingly unlikely to get UN authorization to go to war with Iraq for the simple reason that Baghdad is complying with the new inspection regime, putting the onus on the U.S. and Britain to come up with evidence of prohibited weapons activity that can be verified by the inspectors. And the U.S. has made clear that it doesn’t have such specific nuggets of evidence, and that its case is based on circumstantial evidence derived from putting together tips from defectors with satellite imagery, procurement records etc. That’s why, for now, they’re focusing on the fact that Iraq has again failed to account for Gulf War mustard gas shells etc. that had been left unaccounted for after the last UN mission. Still, a skeptical Security Council is unlikely to be convinced in the absence of forensic evidence, and London and Washington are already preparing the public for the possibility that none may be revealed.