If there’s one thing I hate, it’s when columnists pretend to have changed their mind to believe something that they already believed. The perfect example of this sort of behavior arose this week after Colin Powell presented his evidence to the United Nations (more and more of which is looking questionable). I read several columns that claimed that this was the evidence that was really needed to convince people of the necessity of invading Iraq. Unfortunately, these columnists were already in favor of launching an invasion, so it seems to me that they’re not really qualified to say what sort of evidence or argument is needed to convince people who are still on the fence. After Powell’s presentation on Wednesday and President Bush’s bellicose little speech yesterday afternoon, it’s looking like war is inevitable.
And I still don’t trust the Bush administration to do the right thing for the Iraqi people. The thought of fighting this war and leaving the Iraqis hanging makes me sick. As Tom Friedman says, if we invade Iraq, we own it. Of course, the vast majority of Americans won’t hold Bush to that, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see is go in, get rid of Saddam (or not), and then get out, leaving a bigger mess than already exists. Plus, it already looks like we’re preemptively selling out the Iraqis, specifically the Kurds. The bottom line is that Turkey doesn’t want to the Kurds to get too uppity, and is eager to send troops into Iraq to make sure that Kurdish refugees don’t cross the border and that the Kurds don’t get any bright ideas about breaking away from Iraq. Unfortunately, since the ability to stage troops in Turkey and launch airstrikes from Turkish bases means more to us than preserving the democratic institutions that the Kurds have built for themselves, you can probably assume that the Kurds are going to get the short end of the stick here.
Update: looks like some of the “intelligence” furnished by the UK (and used by Colin Powell in his Wednesday speech) was cribbed from a paper written by a grad student. Of course, a small percentage of those people who paid attention to the speech will actually examine the sources used within it.