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March 17, 2006
CLIFF MAY ON WAR AND STRATEGY:
It is disappointing that the CIA didn't accurately appraise Saddam's capabilities. But even Saddam's generals were shocked to find that no VX nerve gas would be available to them.
We also know that Saddam intended to restock his arsenals. And we know he supported and trained terrorists, at such facilities as Salman Pak — now closed for business thanks to U.S. military forces.
It's easy to say that if we had left Saddam alone, nothing bad would have happened. But how is that different from what was said for years about Osama bin Laden? We knew his intentions. We didn't take pre-emptive action. Don't you wish we had?
If Americans have learned anything, it should be this: When people say they intend to kill you, take them seriously.
Yes, the more damaging critique of Bush is that he hasn't pressed the war hard enough -- against Iran, Syria, and the terrorist supporters in Saudi Arabia -- not that he should have done less.