Christopher Hitchens noted in an op-ed several months back that he was only forced to make the case for the invasion of Iraq so loudly because the Bush White House seemed to think it didn’t have to talk at all.
I believe that the invasion of Iraq is defensible on multiple fronts–humanitarian, regional security, national security and the more cosmic aims of human liberty. If anyone would like to take me on one of those points, I’m happy to engage.
But why–with the most powerful pulpit in the world–have we not had Dick, Condi, Paul, Don and company out making the case week by week? Why should Americans not have it made abundantly clear (with speeches, powerpoints, detailed updates on progress) WHAT was horrific destruction and capricious terror ruled in Saddamite Iraq, WHY it is so valuable that we are there now, HOW people’s lives might be changed if we stay the course, WHY it is so vital that we not fall short in our current obligation to the Iraqi people…
Unfortunately some of the most vital info cannot be shared. Russian intel about Iraq because of our existing protocols with them. Israeli intel because Tony Blair did not want the Iraq cause tied to Israeli sources. And Jordanian intel because the Jordanians don’t want to be known in the Arab world for having tattled on Saddam to Western intelligence.
But all of that said… there is much to tell, much to explain that would vividly make the case for our decision to invade Iraq and our presence there now. The failure of the Bush admin to even attempt such efforts at public explanation is a colossal failing that has (I believe) its roots in the insular environment engineered by Dick Cheney. But whatever the reasons, the lack of clear public communication will go down as the worst mark for this administration.