Friday, August 01, 2008
Or maybe not? Here's historian Arthur Herman in the current issue of Commentary (NOT my favourite mag. . . ):
What these and other such statements remind us is that, by the time George Bush entered the White House in January 2001, the United States was already at war with Iraq, and in fact had been at war for a decade, ever since the first Gulf war in the early 1990’s. (This was literally the case, the end of hostilities in 1991 being merely a cease-fire and not a formal surrender followed by a peace treaty.)
In effect this is the moment the war we are still embroiled in has its beginning. This beginning is in both strategic terms and in terms of justification.
Strategically the problem was Saddam's dangerous regional ambitions that could only be stopped by removing him from power. [. . .] In terms of justification this date matters because this is the moment the Gulf/Iraq war was started by an act of aggression by Saddamite Iraq. Hence the coalition was and is justified both morally and legally to bring this conflict to an end we think appropriate.