This is a bit like trying to find life on Mars, but I'll give it a try. Whatever is politically expedient at the moment is not virtuous or reality. Maybe if politicians keep telling themselves it will sink in.
Iraq Liberation Act (1998)
Forgive me for thinking Congress and President Clinton were serious about this.
Recall the Shia uprising which the GHWB Administration supported, but was snuffed out by Saddam's army using helicopters we forgot to include in the no-fly agreement. Saddam's earlier Anfal campaign, including the use of chemical weapons on the Kurds, sent a message to any group which might choose to oppose him. The message was: "I'll slaughter you, your family, babies, and your neighbors if you even think about stepping out of line." Our unwillingness to support the Shia after the Gulf War sent a message as well: "You're on your own. Try not to get slaughtered (again) when you take our advice."
The Iraqi Liberation Act of 1998 was the right idea at the right time, without any follow through. Who would act against Saddam without overt support from the United States, not mere paper pushed through Congress? It's disingenuous when Democrats forget this bit of legislation as if it's enshrouded in the mists of ancient history. The only course to end Saddam's tyrrany, ensure U.S. security, enforce UN resolutions, and prevent any futher aggressive wars by Saddam on his neighbors, was to act as George W. Bush did, with the support of Congress.
Have we forgotten Saddam raining SCUD missiles down on Saudi Arabia and Israel? Israeli babies with gas masks pressed to their faces by their terrified parents?
Is our national attention span so short? Don't answer that.
I can live with the decision decision to topple Saddam.
I can live. Some people can't.
Or we could have waited around for more UN study of the situation. How's this report coming along?
Some post-war (WWII) intelligence
UPDATE: Vice President Cheney mentioned the ILA in today's speech. (full text via White House)
The Grim Milestone of Blogs "I find the language and rhetoric coming from America too confrontational" - Prince Charles "Nuts" - Gen McAuliffe America: Saving idiots from themselves since WWI