Saturday, 11 March 2006

Saddam lied, people died

Sunday’s New York Times returns to its recent modus operandi of serving as an advertising platform for its reporters’ books with an article revealing Saddam Hussein’s thinking on the eve the U.S. invasion of Iraq, derived from Cobra II by reporter Michael Gordon and army Marine Lt. Gen. Bernard Trainor (Ret.).

There’s not much terribly new here if you were paying attention, and I’m not really sure it adds anything to arguments on either side of the conflict—although it does perhaps give further credence to the argument that intelligence agencies worldwide were obviously going to have a hard job figuring out that Saddam Hussein didn’t actually have WMD when he was trying his darnedest to make everyone think he did. Of course, the obvious followup question, left unanswered in the article, is why Saddam would dismantle his WMD arsenal while maintaining the fiction he hadn’t—wouldn’t it have been wiser for him to simply to keep the WMDs and stonewall the inspectors?

þ Orin Kerr.