Our government correctly concluded that there was a connection between the old Saddam regime in Iraq and terrorists, and reasonably saw a threat that the old Saddam regime and terrorists could in the future cooperate even more closely and that WMD might be a part of such closer cooperation. I don’t think this is debatable.[/quote]
While there is evidence to suggest that Saddam had contacts with certain terrorists groups, the extent to which these contacts created a threat to US national security is questionable. The 9/11 commission found no credible evidence that Iraq and al qaida cooperated on attacks against the US.
No, once Bush changed US policy with regard to terrorism and states that sponsor terrorism (such as Iraq) the torture of Iraqi civilians ceased (OK, OK, with the exception of the unfortunate events of abuse of Iraqi detainees by some US troops). Thus, US policy regarding terrorism has affected Saddam’s ability to torture and kill his own citizenry.[/quote]
Yes, but absent such a link to terrorists and the alleged stockpiles of WMDs, the US would have had no interest in invading Iraq. If, for example, Saddam had become pro-US after 9/11, cooperated with the US to locate and destroy al qaida and other terrorists groups and permitted a thorough inspection of Iraq’s WMD program, there would have been no need to invade Iraq. Saddam’s murder of Iraqi civilians would be a non-issue in the current war on terror. Moreover, if Iraq were located in an area not central to US interests (and had no ties to terrorists and alleged WMDs) and Saddam murdered his own civilians, it is highly unlikely that the US would do much more than cite his brutality in its annual human rights report.
Thus, I do not think it is accurate to claim that Saddam’s killing of his own civilians is the result of previous appeasement policies that basically ignored terrorism. I think it is more appropriate to state that Saddam’s killing of his own civilians is the result of previous and current appeasement policies that basically ignore brutal dictatorial regimes (assuming the US and other nations have a responsibility to intervene in this regard). The current war on terror is a separate issue.
You’re right, it isn’t. But, as I pointed out above, US policy under Bush re terror has changed the fates of many Iraqi civilians.[/quote]
That much is true.