It would be illuminating to cross reference those that wanted to intervene in the Balkans during the 90’s to those that oppose a similar action in Iraq.One supposed objection raised by the neo-cons is that many opponents of the coming invasion of Iraq supported the Clinton Administration’s intervention in the Balkans and would support a war against Iraq under a Gore Administration. I see no contradiction in such a position. Despite the canard that "politics stops at the water’s edge," it makes a great deal of difference who is in office when deciding whether to support a particular foreign policy. Those who affect to be scandalized by opposition to Bush’s invasion of Iraq precisely because Bush is calling for it would have us believe that one intervention is the same as any other, and that motives are irrelevant when the U.S. sends troops into harm’s way. Only someone besotted by notions of "moral clarity" would fail to see that who is to execute a policy should be a primary factor in judging the soundness of that policy.
Quite simply, conceiving and implementing a long-term policy for bringing the Ottoman successor states into the twenty-first century is a bit of a poser. Rolling into Baghdad is the easy part. Surely, one would not give this assignment to an outfit whose competence and motivation were suspect. This was the real import of the weapons-of-mass-destruction ruse; to create a sense of urgency that overrode questions of the Administration’s fitness for the job. While I might support a military intervention in the Middle East (not necessarily in Iraq) by a more trustworthy and competent Administration, I remain convinced that the unfavorable outcomes that will result from this ill-conceived invasion far outweigh the costs of doing relatively nothing.