From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
Confronting the Evil of Confronting Evil

February 7, 2004 4:45 PM

Scott Ritter, the former weapons inspector ridiculed before the war for suggesting Saddam didn't have any WMD, recounts an exchange with members of the British Parliament a couple months ago:

The Chair of the Select Committee on Defense, Bruce George, listened patiently as I took apart Tony Blair's case for Iraq's retention of WMD, piece by piece, in the back of the Member's cafeteria. When I finished, George shrugged his shoulders. "I still believe that this war was justified over the issue of WMD," he said, "if for no other reason than Saddam's ongoing intent to acquire them in the face of UN inspections."

"Intent?" I asked, incredulously. "What intent? No one has made a case that Saddam was attempting to either hold on to hidden WMD, or reacquire new capabilities."

George was taken aback by my words. "Certainly you can't be saying you don't believe Saddam wanted WMD?" he asked.

"What I believe and what I know are two different things," I replied. "Our two nations went to war because our respective leaders said they knew Iraq possessed WMD, that they knew Saddam intended to acquire WMD. It has turned out that there has been no WMD found in Iraq, and no hard evidence to sustain any ongoing acquisition of WMD by Saddam."

"Yes, we know that," George repeated. "But we also know that Saddam intended to get these weapons in defiance of the UN, and for that reason he had to be removed."

"How do you know this?" I asked. "On what basis can you back this up?"

"Because," George said, with a smile, "Saddam is evil."

And with that, the discussion ended.

Saddam is evil. Evil must be destroyed. Ritter continues:

I had come face to face with a phenomenon I have come to describe as the 'theocracy of evil.' Going beyond mere political ideology, the theocracy of evil encompasses a faith-based value system that embraces a simplistic 'good versus evil' opposition. If Saddam is evil, such thinking holds, then evil must be confronted, and such niceties as fact and fact-based logic no longer apply. As such, WMD became simply an enabling issue – something designed to focus the attention of the public while those in charge pursued the broader agenda of confronting evil.

More from the archive in Intelligence, Religion, War and Peace.

Confronting the Evil of Confronting Evil (02.07.2004)

Next Entry: Murdoch's top lieutenant is bankrolling John Kerry (02.10.2004)
Previous Entry: Shooting the messenger (02.07.2004)

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