Karl and Scooter's Excellent Adventure
Props to Nevada Thunder for posting the full text of today's Frank Rich Op-Ed column, "Karl and Scooter's Excellent Adventure." Right from paragraph one, Rich focuses on the question which should be on everyone's mind: given the lack of WMDs and no provable tie between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda, why did we go to war in Iraq? Rich finds somewhat different motivations among the major players. On the one hand, the Rove-Bush camp wanted to secure Republican victories in the November '02 midterm elections. Bush's post-9/11 political capital had hit the skids, thanks to the bungled effort to capture Bin Laden "dead or alive" and waning American interest in an extended Middle East war. Hence the impetus towards something dramatic: Mr. Rove could see that an untelevised and largely underground war against terrorists might not nail election victories without a jolt of shock and awe. It was a propitious moment to wag the dog. On the other hand, we have the Cheney-Scooter Libby-Wolfowitz camp: Mr. Libby had been joined at the hip with Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz since their service in the Defense Department of the Bush 41 administration, where they conceived the neoconservative manifesto for the buildup and exercise of unilateral American military power after the cold war. Well before Bush 43 took office, they had become fixated on Iraq, though for reasons having much to do with their ideas about realigning the states in the Middle East and little or nothing to do with the stateless terrorism of Al Qaeda. The desires of these two groups converged with the plan for a war in Iraq. Rich: "the path was clear for a war in Iraq to serve as the political Viagra Mr. Rove needed for the election year." The answer to Why? Republican hunger for unmatched political control of the United States government, and neocon wet dreams of a world-dominating American military juggernaut. Why? Because they wanted to rule our country with an iron fist. Because they had that same glorious vision for the rest of the world. And we all know what absolute power does, don't we? D.