Monday, May 18, 2015

Load-bearing country

Paul Krugman lays out the scheme that's been going on for a while -- to narrow the terms of USA's Iraq adventure to the issue of incorrect intelligence. Just because it happens to be closest corresponding date from 12 years ago where the Administration addressed Iraq, here's Condi Rice on 16 May 2003 discussing it at a commencement address:

Our democracy is still a work in progress, not a finished product. The hard work begins anew each day. Yes, we practice what we preach but 225 years after the fact we are still practicing; practicing each day to get it right. And by doing so we strengthen America's moral authority and the currency of these values across the world. We must always remember that while America cherishes the ideals of equality, justice, and the rule of law, we do not own them. 

As President Bush has said, the values of freedom are not America's gift to the world but God's gift to humanity. People everywhere share the most basic yearnings for liberty to create, speak, and worship in freedom. When these values are under attack, we must not ? and we will not spare any effort in their defense. When freedom is being sought by brave people living under tyranny, we must stand on their side. And when newly free people are seeking to build the institutions of law and democracy, we have an obligation if asked to help. And we are. 

This summer in Afghanistan a working draft of a new democratic constitution will be presented at town hall meetings across the country. In Iraq, leaders from every province and ethnic group have declared their commitment to a democratic future for their country. And last week, President Bush announced an important initiative for working in partnership with the people of the Middle East to bring more economic opportunity, better education, and more freedom to the region. The United States will help countries seeking to reform their judiciaries, provide training for the growing number of women seeking elective office, establish media law projects, and support new parliamentarians and civil society organizations. 

 This enterprise will be long, not short. Often, progress will come in small, quiet steps, less dramatic than the toppling of statues. Occasional setbacks are inevitable. But these efforts are vitally important and they are an essential element of the war on global terror. President Bush is fully committed to their success both as an American, and as a person of faith. As he said last week, "[W]e are determined to help build a Middle East that grows in hope instead of resentment."

This was 2 months into the war, with no WMDs yet found -- but no shortage of war rationales. That was the real time "debate" on Iraq. 

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