Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Have just settled into my pew to read Condoleezza Rice's opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal-Opinion Journal. Let's see, she says here that 50 countries have joined forces against Saddam (that includes Palau, by the way)--though only two seem to be sending corpses home.

She writes, of the coalition:

To put this in perspective, the combined population of coalition countries is approximately 1.23 billion people, with a combined gross domestic product of approximately $22 trillion. These countries are from every continent on the globe, representing every major race, religion, and ethnicity in the world.

Then, she quotes herself, taking a paragraph out of the National Security Strategy:

But, vitally, all have the will to face the gravest threat of our time--the nexus between outlaw regimes, weapons of mass destruction, and terrorism. The world has seen what happens when countries that recognize emerging or present threats lack the will to meet them.

Then this biscuit:

As the war progresses, and the situation on the ground evolves, the roles of many coalition members will grow. The farther coalition forces move into Iraq, the more need there will be for various specialized teams. And the more security improves, the more quickly relief and reconstruction efforts will be able to proceed into more parts of Iraq, with more coalition personnel providing essential services.

And finally:

Together, we are determined to do all we can to prevent Saddam Hussein, or terrorists with his weapons, from repeating September 11 on a vaster scale.

Maybe I just find Rice too pious by a half, but isn't she selling us swampland in Florida here? For one thing, who cares what the combined GDP of the coalition of the willing is? Saddam merits being removed by even the most wretched of economies. And that line about the role of coalition members growing, it’s not like anybody is lining up to send cannon fodder into Iraq, though they might cock an ear if reconstruction contracts come their way (but Rice didn’t quite promise that).

And that link between Saddam and September 11…He’s a jerk and we all await his departure with impatience, but the administration has got to stop using that nonexistent link with Al-Qaida. Saddam was always a fairly parochial thug, limiting himself to the immediate neighborhood.

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