Sunday, January 30, 2005

The Iraq War (2003- ) The Impact at Home

Despite misgivings on the part of many Americans and fierce opposition on the part of some, over 70 percent of Americans initially endorsed President Bush’s decision to invade Iraq. By mid-2004, however, no weapons of mass destruction had been found in that country (Saddam Hussein had apparently implied [Would it be relevant to mention the interrogation of his self-exiled son-in-law on WMD in the ‘90s before the fellow returned to Iraq and his execution?] that he did hold such weapons as a way to maintain his stature in the Arab world) and a congressional inquiry [Please refer more specifically to this. PK] concluded that at best, only the most tenuous connections had existed between Al Qaeda and the deposed Ba’athist regime. This, coupled with the on-going violence in Iraq, convinced about half of Americans that the war was not been worth the cost. Despite intense criticism and a strong challenge in the 2004 presidential election from Senator John Kerry, the Democratic nominee, Bush steadfastly maintained that the conflict was an integral and necessary component of its War on Terrorism. His narrow reelection indicated that a majority of Americans still agreed with him. [I guess it is here where I’d really appreciate some expansion, including some attention to the debate over whether the Iraq war was a distraction from, or even a hindrance to, the effective prosecution of the war on Terrorism. ((A propos the latter, have you read Fred Hartmann’s The Conservation of Enemies: A Study in Enmity (1982)?] PK]

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