Jeff Jacoby is on shaky historical ground when he claims that the US invasion of Iraq was based on a mere “intelligence failure” rather than a deliberate distortion (“On balance, the Iraq war was worth it,” Op-Ed, March 20).
In his selective recounting of the run-up to the invasion, Jacoby fails to mention the so-called Downing Street memo, which suggested that President Bush had decided to oust Saddam Hussein long in advance of the actual event and simply needed a pretext for doing so. As the memo stated, “the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.” Subsequently, the Bush administration threw scruples to the wind in a colossal public relations campaign to jawbone the Congress, the press, and the public into supporting its justification for war.
Socrates said, “All wars are fought for money.” Today, retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters has gone Socrates one better. With alarming candor, Peters wrote, “The de facto role of the US armed forces will be to keep the world safe for our economy and open to our cultural assault.”
Keeping in mind Iraq’s immense oil wealth, Peters’s blunt assessment rings far truer than Jacoby’s highly idealized “war of liberation.”