For now

I guess Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s announcement that Iraq won’t be attacked anytime soon is the best that could be expected from the Bush administration. Here are some scary figures reported in the Tribune story:

Military analysts say an invasion of Iraq could take more than 200,000 troops, involve risks of high casualties from possible biological and chemical attacks, and require a lengthy buildup in the region.

Yikes. Now, I don’t doubt that regime change in Iraq could eventually be accomplished, but the first question is whether it is necessary and the second question is what other anti-terrorist efforts would be sacrificed or put on hold in order to do it. This seems to be the concern of some top people in the military as well.

After all of the chatter, the fact is that Iraq and Saddam Hussein are not much of a threat to anyone but their own people, and they’re certainly not a threat to the United States. There’s still no link between Hussein and Al Qaeda or other anti-American terrorist groups, and there’s no reason to think that the United States’ overwhelming nuclear power isn’t enough to deter any hypothetical Iraqi deployment of weapons of mass destruction.

But Dubya will plunge ahead, anyhow. Unfortunately, it’s a matter of when, not if. Though I think the current hoopla over who knew what when regarding Sept. 11 is overblown and won’t in the end really do much to improve American intelligence operations, perhaps it will hurt Dubya enough to put a hold on his foolish plan to attack Iraq.

Brian Carnell asks, “Why do I pay taxes again?” He makes some good points.