If the President lied to get us into Iraq, what was his true motive?

Let’s look at a couple of the common accusations.

Get oil - Do the math. Iraq produced about $20 billion of oil revenue a year. Bush has a Harvard MBA and he is not dumb ( his grades were slightly better than John Kerry's) so he understands the concept of breaking even. How many years of Iraqi oil would it take to break even? Besides, Saddam was willing to sell as much as we would let him pump at below world market prices. A lot of people were making money on Saddam. We could have too,if that was our concern.

Make his friends rich - You should have bought Halliburton back five years ago. Of course if you did, you would not have made much money. Halliburton stock was not remarkable during the Bush Presidency. (Look at the five year and maximum tab to see the long trends)They would have been better off in Norway or Brazil. Or maybe just buy Google or some local real estate. I guess that the Bush guys hide money so well not even they can find it.

Finish his father's work. Maybe it was wrong for the elder Bush to not to finish Saddam, but at the time it looked like a wise decision. If GW decided that his father had done the wrong thing and that he would correct it, well dealing with a security threat is a valid presidential decision.

There just is no nefarious motivation for Bush to lie. Only if he truly believed Saddam was a great threat, but he couldn't convince others, would he have reason and he would be doing what Roosevelt did in 1940. So what happened?

Consider how Bush probably made his decision. He no doubt depended on risk management tools developed for such situations. Each outcome has a probability and there is a string of probable outcomes. The idea is to minimize the maximum risk. I admit that I don't understand this crap. I bet a few of you do, but a generalist such as George Bush almost certainly does not - and should not. There are good reasons why we don't just let the smartest math wizard make all the decisions. If you can understand such details, you are not a leader. Leaders lead. They rely on professionals to give him options then make a decision from among them.

Okay, you are the President. 9/11 showed that seemingly remote dangers can have real consequences. UN sanctions had killed 567,000 children by the mid 1990s. Their figures are exaggerated in both cases, but the ratio looks like peace was five times as deadly as war) , the U.S. and to American friends such as Turkey and Jordan, and you know that they are subverting them. You also know something of the corruption of the oil for food program. So sanctions are painful to almost everybody except Saddam himself. He will wait them out.

That same intelligence that tells you Saddam didn't have an operational link with 9/11 tells you that he possesses WMD and that he is trying to upgrade. You have no reason to doubt their analysis. Your predecessor didn't. Bill Clinton, made regime change in Iraq a U.S. policy. We don't have such an explicit policy for any other country. What do you do, Mr. or Ms. President?

Posted by Jack at August 22, 2005 12:44 AM