I especially appreciate that recent posts on the Iraq Vs. Vietnam there were well presented, well documented and show flexibilty and tolerance regarding each others points of view.
I agree that our intelligence analysis overestimated the extent to which Saddam was able to reconstitute his convential military force.
Certainly there seem to have been endless stockpiles of conventional ordnance as evidenced by the insurgent's seeming endless access to unexploded ordnance for the manufacture of IED's.
I agree that the Bush Administration overestimated Saddam's ability to reconstitute his Nuclear Program.
I agree that Saddam's post Desert Storm suppression of the Shiites was not acceptable.
However, a sovereign state has the right to quell internal forces in arms having the intent to overthrow a legitimate goverment.
Having so stated the Shiite uprising was, in part, in response to the first Bush's indication that the Iraqi population should take matters into their own hand vis a vis Saddam.
Having thus 'encouraged' them it seems that our non support of the uprising was hypocritical.
I do not agree that the suppresion of the revolt constituted 'ethnic cleansing' but it certainly was conducted in a crushing and ruthless manner and could obviously be characterized as an example of severe religious persecution.
It certainly seems from the evidence presented that Saddam was, in any case, in violation of UN resolution 1441. Having sadi this i say I am completely accepting what was contained in the resolution as posted and I have not read the Resolution personally.
The question remains as to who was expected to enforce the resolution other than the US and members of the Coalition involved in the First Gulf War.
An attempt by Syria, a member of the first Coalition, to enforce the resolution would not have been acceptable to either Bush administration.
I note that William Jefferson Clinton said (i paraphrase here) 'that the perpetrators of the Khafkar Towers Bombing must and will be brought to justice'.
I am unaware of any facts that indicate that anyone was brought to justice.
Perhaps the Saudis brought some perpretrators 'to justice' and I have forgotten, was innatentive to, or was not privy to reports regarding Saudi counter terrorist actions in detail, ie: I am aware of Saudi anti terroist policy and action generally, but I am not sufficiently familiar with the the details.
I feel that their are a lot of folk in Saudi prisons that I am not aware of.
'you Americans always say that you are going to do something, but you never do' a a parphrase of the remarks ot the Terrorist leader in the Movie "Toy Soldier". Just a remark that stuck in my mind.
I feel that we had come to believe ourselves, and let others to believe that we lacked the political will to respond to Terrorist attacks.
No one seems to be able to bring Hezbollah to justice following the bombing ot the Marine Barracks in Beirut. The loss of these Marines was a severe blow to us, and was, apparently, the largest single loss of life suffered by the USMC since the battle of Iwo Jima in 1945.
However, I feel, but cannot document, that many Hezbollah were 'made to disappear' by either the Mossad or the CIA after the bombing, but no overt counter attack was made in the conventional military sense except the incursions of the IDF into Lebanon in 1982 and 2006.
I understand that this post partially refers directly to matters raised (I hope) by prior posters and partially introduces anecdotal evidence of the apparent of lack of response to terrorist actions by several administrations.
I only introduce such matters in the perhaps vain hope that we will someday act properly regarding such attacks and present some eveidence of how terrorist may view.
It has proven especially hard to prevent assassinations and attacks by persons willing to die to complete their mission.
In any event, Well Said folks!!!!