State of the Union
Bush will make the case again for the war for Iraq, do some preparing the country for war. I rather hope that at the same time he'll draw a picture of post-war occupied Iraq. We're getting close to the time, and he really should do this for both country prep and legitimacy reasons. This really is the opportunity to make the case while the world and country is watching. Whatever Bush says here will have more credibility internationally 'cause if he admits the cost of rebuilding Iraq, it means that he's willing to spend the political capital to do it. Similarly it's fairly easy to dismiss the war for oil argument by going into some detail on how Iraqi oil will be handled, and designing a system that protects against mercantile/colonial exploitation. Sure, we wouldn't do the war if it wasn't for the oil in the middle east, but that's legitimate pursuit of national interests. Making Iraq a colony is not.
So is this just what I'm hoping or what's gonna happen. I think it's what's gonna happen, Bush does really need to make the case now and here's his best opportunity. The President has proved fairly capable of trying the right thing after all other avenue's fail (see congressional debate and original working through the U.N.) and when he does he tends to be clever about it.
Next, I'm betting in the near future Powell is going to pull an Aldai Stevenson before the U.N. In the forthcoming security council debate, I think we'll be seeing some sort of smoking gun presentation.
I believe we have one because we're going to need it to pull this off. If we didn't have the evidence, then we'd be running a different sort of diplomatic campaign. Now we've been claiming that we don't need a smoking gun, but that isn't particularly related to reality.
So if we had such a think, why hold on to it, and not show earlier.
1) Keeping hold of such evidence let's us pick the start to the war. We weren't ready, we aren't even quite ready yet from what I've been hearing.
2) If we use it before we're ready, the returns from it's use will steadily diminish. The international will isn't there, Iraq will deal with whatever we catch them at, and keep up the general deception campaign.
3) By waiting til the inspectors report, we can clearly show that Iraq is in material breach, not just by what they're hiding, but by not telling it to the inspectors.
4) The smoking gun may be faked, hopefully we'd be smart enough to entrap them by selling materials through a CIA front, which isn't really a problem, or planting evidence. But regardless, many source will claim it's fake regardless, if it is fake we want the war to start before any one but the Iraqis know for sure. When the war's over the government can 'discover' further supporting evidence and no one will be the wiser.
Since Powell is Powell, the presentation should be fairly effective, we may even be able to get a resolution passed to support it, or not condemn it, even if it won't have a large coalition of troops.