October 10, 2002


TNR VS. THE IRAQ-AL QAEDA CONNECTION: The New Republic is wrong, I think, to assert that the Bush administration strains credibility unless it makes the case for war without mentioning al Qaeda. The denials of an intelligence connection all come from either consistently foolish legislators, like Chuck Hagel and Joe Biden, or from anonymous "intelligence sources," who for all anyone knows have ulterior motives. The CIA has been scooped by the New Yorker on this issue, and I'm sure many of them would like to pretend it doesn't exist.

As I wrote before, the Iraq-al Qaeda link, however loose, is an important factor. Even a passing acquaintance between Iraqi government elements and al Qaeda-affiliated terrorists indicates that proliferation of weapons to terrorists is a credible risk. In fact, even if we accept the (highly questionable) premise that Saddam is a "rational actor" and "deterrable," the risk that his arsenal might slip out of his control is reason enough to stop his weapons programs once and for all, and the only way to do that is regime change.

With the war resolution past the House and moving quickly through the Senate, of course, these arguments are fast becoming mostly academic.

Posted by John Tabin at October 10, 2002 05:11 PM