Friday, October 01, 2004

The New Republic Online: Evil Lesser The reasonable left here, in the form of Martin Peretz. He's no fan of Bush, but he sees the essential issue in this debate.

Kerry suffers no discomfort in having been a yo-yo on Iraq. After all, he has been one for years. In fact, every vote Kerry has cast on Iraq since 1991, when he opposed the first Gulf war, has mirrored a nano-political calculus. He always has a convoluted explanation for the doubters in his camp about why he did this and not that. And it always manages to persuade those in the electorate who are content merely that Kerry is not Bush.

On Iraq, I am with Bush. Yes, I am repelled by how he and his crowd play fast and loose with the facts, by their elevation of their foreign policy reasoning into some kind of catechism. Still, Iraq without Saddam Hussein is like Russia without Josef Stalin: By no means perfect, but a vast improvement. Mahdi Obeidi, the former head of Iraq's nuclear centrifuge program, recently published an op-ed in The New York Times arguing that, were Saddam still in power and had international sanctions expired, as they inevitably would have, Baathist Iraq could easily have plunged back into the atomic game. The world has much to thank the United States for on this count.


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