Scott Rosenberg over at Salon.com has written a rebuttal to the President’s speech from last night.
The nation—and the world—know that Saddam Hussein is a dangerous dictator. The moral or strategic logic that makes this precise moment the time to depose him remains obscure, however. And in that obscurity we are forced back on the suspicion that the timing, for Bush, is a matter of political convenience (first war, then 2004) and logistical efficiency (can’t have a quarter of a million troops sitting around idly, losing morale). And those seem like poor reasons to begin dropping thousands of bombs and killing thousands of people.
The president’s speech tonight, full of the rhetoric of “liberty and peace,” was suffused with an almost millenarian triumphalism, an attitude of certainty in U.S. victory that is no doubt borne out by the superiority of American weaponry and power and that, yet, to anyone with a sense of the twists of history, seems fatuously arrogant. War is rarely easy; the speed of the victories in 1991 Kuwait or 2001 Afghanistan was, historically, the exception, and there is no guarantee that every future American campaign will be as fast or as painless to Americans. Overconfidence breeds disaster.
I think Scott sums up the thoughts of a lot of us folks who have a problem with this war quite nicely.