The war has already started. The Pentagon was leaking all over the place yesterday that we already have special forces inside Iraq. For example, the Washington Post reported:
U.S. Special Operations troops are already operating in various parts of Iraq, hunting for weapons sites, establishing a communications network and seeking potential defectors from Iraqi military units in what amounts to the initial ground phase of a war, U.S. defense officials and experts familiar with Pentagon planning said.
Discussing this on the Well, I was told that this news also appeared last fall. Face it, we’ve been at war with Iraq since 1998 and in some sense since the cease-fire in 1991. They never accepted the legitimacy of the no-fly zones, so there’s been a small-scale conflict going on ever since.
This is one reason why I’ve felt like the debate over the upcoming shooting war, both domestically and internationally, has been a sham. The Bush team made up their mind to “deal with” Iraq on 9/11 or earlier. The UN effort is a matter of getting their ducks in a row, of how to manage and prosecute the invasion and overthrow, not whether.
Frankly, I accept that Bush is the president and that as commander-in-chief it’s his call what the greatest threats to our security are, suspicious as I may be of his motives or strategy overall.
Best we get on with the debate of how to mitigate the worst risks of slaughter and instability and how best to reconstruct the country and move on. The “No Blood for Oil” protesters have been suckered into a fool’s game, trying to affect a decision that was made months, if not years, ago.