Just read a fantastic, if lengthy, exposition on how the situation in Iraq got to be where it is. The funny thing is, the whole idea of Saddam's WMD, the reason given for the invasion (and the reason I supported it) hardly merits a paragraph. Neither does oil, the reason many I consider conspiracy theorists think the war was waged. Apparently Bush and his advisers were getting high on their own supply.
We are well down the road toward this dark vision, a wave of threatening instability that stands as the precise opposite of the Bush administration's "democratic tsunami," the wave of liberalizing revolution that American power, through the invasion of Iraq, was to set loose throughout the Middle East. The chances of accomplishing such change within Iraq itself, let alone across the complicated landscape of the entire region, were always very small. Saddam Hussein and the autocracy he ruled were the product of a dysfunctional politics, not the cause of it. Reform of such a politics was always going to be a task of incalculable complexity.
Faced with such complexity, and determined to have their war and their democratic revolution, the President and his counselors looked away. Confronted with great difficulties, their answer was to blind themselves to them and put their faith in ideology and hope - in the dream of a welcoming landscape, magically transformed. The evangelical vision may have made the sense of threat after September 11 easier to bear but it did not change the risks and the reality on the ground. The result is that the wave of change the President and his officials were so determined to set in course by unleashing American military power may well turn out to be precisely the wave of Islamic radicalism that they had hoped to prevent. Read the full article.