Tuesday, September 21, 2004

It's not just Bush who should be answering some hard questions

Bush needs to answer for his role in the Iraq debacle. So should every member of our Congress, and every member of the UN who voted for Security Council Resolution 1441.

The fact is, Saddam Hussein did not comply with SC Resolution 678 because he did not provide a "full, final, and complete" account of his weapons programs. He didn't do it in the 15 days he was given or in the following 4000 days. SCR 678 also provide authorization for force, and this authorization was reaffirmed by SCR 1441.

What's the point of this discussion, you may ask? Some people are saying that Bush and a few executives should have to answer for Iraq. I agree, and I argue that the responsibility is much wider. Kerry needs to answer for his support and vote for the authorization of force, as do the national governments (including Russian and France) who voted for SCR 1441. If they didn't want force, they shouldn't have voted for it in the first place.

And what's the point of this? I, for one, want to avoid this situation in the future. Our current political discussion, which is amounting to "Bush lied" and "Anybody but Bush," is dangerous. It's sweeping the problem under the rug and substituting a desire to punish. I think we all ought to do a little soul-searching, hold accountable those who are responsible, rethink our qualifications for public servants (I'll give one I'd like to see: someone who sees the post as a public service rather than a place of power), and act.

If John Kerry can clean up the Iraq mess, then I'm all for it. I won't be holding my breath.