Quoth Dave: “I think my main complaint about Iraq has always been the weakness of the justifications...”
Remember the sort of people we are talking about:
Marco Parigi: “Standards of truth? Legal probity? We're talking about politicians here. Truth and lies are indistinguishable in politic talk.”
Fred Hoyle: “When the Home Secretary talked, it was his aim to make those to whom he was talking react according to some pre-arranged plan. It was irrelevant to him how he succeeded in this, so long as he succeeded. ... For the most part, like other administrators, he found that arguments containing some deep-rooted emotional appeal, but couched in seemingly logical terms, were usually successful. For strict logic he had no use whatsoever.”
We need pay not attention to what they say: they will pick whichever reasons they think will play best with the electorate and the unrepresentative swill at the United Nations. We should only worry about what they do. What will be the likely consequences of what they propose? Do we think it is worth it? The stated motive is irrelevant, and the real motive is irrelevant: only the consequences are important.
Afghanistan: Harboured a nutter who had killed ~4000 people outside Afghanistan, in the United States, Kenya, and Tanzania.
Iraq: Was run by a nutter who had killed ~400,000 people outside Iraq, almost all of them in Iran, including a 9/11’s worth of civilians in a single day’s bombing raid on Teheran.
Afghanistan: Had noble goals to bring about an Islamic paradise on earth, attracting many young idealists such as David Hicks.
Iraq: Had no noble goals to speak of, attracting a few old unreconstructed Stalinists such as George Galloway.
Afghanistan: A diplomatic approach was attempted for about, maybe, 48 hours.
Iraq: A diplomatic approach was attempted for about twelve years.