Thursday, October 07, 2004

ISG Report

You can access it here. warning: it's a big mofo.

Note this from the key findings:

Saddam's primary goal from 1991 to 2003 was to have UN sanctions lifted, while maintaining the security of the Regime.

He sought to balance the need to cooperate with UN inspections-to gain support for lifting sanctions-with his intention to preserve Iraq's intellectual capital for WMD with a minimum of foreign intrusiveness and loss of face. Indeed, this remained the goal to the end of the Regime, as the starting of any WMD program, conspicuous or otherwise, risked undoing the progress achieved in eroding sanctions and jeopardizing a political end to the embargo and international monitoring.
This finding indicates that Saddam was trying to wait out the sanctions regime, while at the same time building up his arsenal with the help of sanctions violators like France, Germany, Russia and China (real coalition of the bribed). After the sanctions were lifted it was Saddam's intent to restart his WMD programs, this time without any oversight or pressure. America would have been worse off.

Ultimately though, what this means is that if John Kerry had his way, the inspectors would have been in Iraq for God knows how long and may ultimately determined that Iraq had no WMDs. With such a finding, the sanctions regime would have collapsed (as was happening anyway) and Saddam would have been off the hook. America would have had to withdraw the 150,000+ troops that were waiting to go into Iraq (the pressure that got the inspectors back in) and lost face. Saddam would still be in power and his WMD progams would have restarted. Saddam would have been even more powerful than before and who knows what he would have done with the weapons (hint: use them or give them to terrorists who would use them to kill you and me).

This news is bad for Kerry. Sure part of Bush's rationale for the war takes a hit at first glance, but the more we think about it, in John Kerry's world its better that Saddam be in power with his WMD programs in full swing, than it is for Bush to be President building bunker-busters. That's wrong for us and there is no way that Kerry, et al can spin it into a winning argument.