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A `Dumb War': Taking Stock of the Iraq Invasion

by Alexander Smoltczyk and Bernhard Zand Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010 at 9:13 AM
mbatko@yahoo.com

With its invasion of Iraq, the United States rid the Iraqi people of a tyrant. But it also broke the law and destroyed tens of thousands of lives. With the release of close to 400,000 Iraq logs by WikiLeaks and the coming publication of George W. Bush's memoir, it is time to take stock of a war that was catastrophic for Iraq and America's standing in the world.

"The first chapter of this war, the story of the disarming of Saddam Hussein, is also the shortest one. The dictator no longer had any weapons of mass destruction. None of the 391,832 military reports now released mention an appreciable discovery of biological, chemical or nuclear materials. The documents reinforce the conclusion that David Kay, the first director of the "Iraq Survey Group" formed to search for weapons of mass destruction, cited when he stepped down in January 2004: "I don't think they existed."

With audacious irony, Bush initially tried to gloss over the disgrace, even posing for photographs that showed him searching the cabinets in the Oval Office. One of the captions read: "Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be here somewhere."

But despite Bush's flippant approach to it, the affair led to a catastrophic loss of credibility for the United States and its intelligence services. His first secretary of state, Colin Powell, would eventually become a proxy for that loss of credibility, after having told the United Nations Security Council: "There can be no doubt that Saddam Hussein has biological weapons and the capability to rapidly produce more, many more." Powell, who resigned in late 2004, later said that his appearance before the UN was a "blot" on his record.

The disarming of Saddam Hussein, cited as the central goal leading up to the invasion, was not enough to justify this war..."

to read the article published in the English edition of Spiegel Online 10/25/2010, click on

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,druck-725090,00.html

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