Why Did UK Go to War in Iraq?
Kevin Drum cites excerpts from the Downing Street Memo and other “high level British opinion” on the evidence leading up to the Iraq War and laments,
“No recent evidence.” “Frankly unconvincing.” “No credible evidence.” “Facts were being fixed.”
The Brits pretty clearly knew that the Iraq-al-Qaeda connection was a crock. As with the existence of global warming, though, they apparently didn’t have much luck in getting their American counterparts to admit it.
Interestingly, though, Tony Blair was perhaps the most forceful advocate for the war. In a whole series of speeches, he was much more articulate than George W. Bush (granted…) on why it was important.
That rather begs the question: Why?
Rather clearly, Blair believed, along with Chirac, the UN Secretariat, and most reasonable opponents of the war, that Saddam had a WMD program in place and, even aside from that, was a generally dangerous figure.
Further, it’s worth pointing out from time to time that almost all of the casualties the Americans, Brits, and other Coalition forces have suffered from the war have come in the period since the removal of Saddam. American dead numbered well under 200 at the end of that phase. It’s the counterterrorism/counterinsurgency/nation building phase that has been so deadly. None of that was predicated on a Saddam-al Qaeda or Saddam-WMD rationale.