terça-feira, janeiro 13, 2004
Paul O'Neill e o Iraque
Do artigo de David Frum na National Review Online.
The big whoop-whoop in the O?Neill interview is his claim that the Bush administration was secretly plotting from the very start to remove Saddam Hussein. But it?s worse than that! Well before President Bush was ever elected, Congress passed a law declaring the removal of Saddam a goal of US policy: the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998. The plot was so secret that Congress broadcast it on C-Span and published it in the Congressional Record. In fact, just about every candidate for the presidency in 2000 agreed that Saddam would someday have to be removed by force, with John McCain and Al Gore making the point even more emphatically than George W. Bush.
All of them then, however, assumed that the type of force that would be used was a US-backed domestic Iraqi insurgency. One plan proposed to President Clinton in the mid-1990s envisioned airdropping Iraqi National Congress forces into an emotionally significant Iraqi site. They would then declare a liberated zone and dare Saddam to attack them. If he took up the dare, his forces would be obliterated from the air; if not, the zone would welcome refugees and step-by-step enlarge its perimiter.
What O?Neill fails to distinguish, however, is the difference between planning for a contingency and making the decision to put the plan into effect. Despite the Iraq Liberation Act, despite all the advocacy of the foreign-policy experts, despite even President Bush?s own private belief that Saddam Hussein would have to be dealt with at some point during his presidency, despite all those things ? if 9/11 had not occurred, there would have been no war in Iraq in 2003. President Bush came to office with a huge domestic reform agenda: taxes, education, entitlements, immigration. His first term at least would have been dedicated to putting that agenda into effect. It was the terrorists who made Iraq a priority, not the president.
posted by Miguel Noronha 4:39 da tarde
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