"How did it come to pass that an opposition's measure of a president's foreign policy was all or nothing, success or "failure"? The answer is that the political absolutism now normal in Washington arrived at the moment--Nov. 7, 2000--that our politics subordinated even a war against terror to seizing the office of the presidency." - Daniel Henninger - WSJ 11/18/05
"the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts." - George Orwell

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

James S. Robbins on Iraq The Greatest Blunder - secret documents

James S. Robbins on Iraq on National Review Online

James Robbins opens with background on the Nuremburg trials following the second world war and the captured from the Nazis after the war. Within a year after their defeat "eight volumes with two appendices comprising thousands of pages. Much of it is online at Yale's Avalon Project and also at the Nizkor Project."

He then moves to an essay he had written about a week into the Iraq war, referring to documents that will likely be discovered by the U.S. as it rolls through Iraq. To his and many peoples consternation these documents (or enough of them) have not been released.

As he sees it this is "the greatest blunder of the Bush administration — not just of the war, but in toto — is the failure to release documents from Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere captured in the war on terrorism. The huge impact of the recent small dribble of documents (less than a hundred records of the millions of pages taken) illustrates the magnitude of this failing." Again I would have to agree, however, as this administration has, it has been claimed, holds things too close and doesn't like sharing a lot. This could be some of the reason these documents have seen the light of day. My explanation does make sense (to me anyway), but it is a bit ridiculous to not release more, so as to clear the air as much as possible. Each passing day efforts to reveal the extent of the history of Hussein's Iraq become more and more difficult as misinformation streams through the internet.

"Continuing to deny the American people access to the documentary evidence of the perfidy of Saddam's regime and the brutality of the terrorist networks with which we are still at war is doing incalculable harm to the war effort. It is no wonder people are tuning out. And when it gets bad enough, the enemy will pay us another visit, perhaps with more tragic consequences."

Previous posts on Iraqi documents here, here and here.


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