WMD NOT THE POINT
Thomas Friedman, one of the few opponents of the Iraq war who maintained a cogent argument on the issue, now thinks the war was worth fighting–even if we don’t find weapons of mass destruction:
As far as I’m concerned, we do not need to find any weapons of mass destruction to justify this war. That skull, and the thousands more that will be unearthed, are enough for me. Mr. Bush doesn’t owe the world any explanation for missing chemical weapons (even if it turns out that the White House hyped this issue). It is clear that in ending Saddam’s tyranny, a huge human engine for mass destruction has been broken. The thing about Saddam’s reign is that when you look at that skull, you don’t even know what period it came from–his suppression of the Kurds or the Shiites, his insane wars with Iran and Kuwait, or just his daily brutality.
Whether you were for or against this war, whether you preferred that the war be done with the U.N.’s approval or without it, you have to feel good that right has triumphed over wrong. America did the right thing here. It toppled one of the most evil regimes on the face of the earth, and I don’t think we know even a fraction of how deep that evil went. Fair-minded people have to acknowledge that. Who cares if we now find some buried barrels of poison? Do they carry more moral weight than those buried skulls? No way.
An amazing concession. He remains skeptical of the chances of a democratic aftermath and continues to oppose Bush’s domestic policy. But his ability to divorce his politics from his analysis, at least on foreign policy, makes his columns a must-read regardless of one’s ideology.