Clinton backs war

… in an op-ed in the Guardian.

… only the threat of force from the US and the UK got inspectors back into Iraq in the first place. Without a credible threat of force, Saddam will not disarm.

[snip]

But if we leave Iraq with chemical and biological weapons, after 12 years of defiance, there is a considerable risk that one day these weapons will fall into the wrong hands and put many more lives at risk than will be lost in overthrowing Saddam.

Thanks to Mickey Kaus for the pointer.

Question: how come this wasn’t big news? Howard Dean is getting big ovations from Democratic activists by attacking his pro-war rivals for the nomination, and the Democrat-in-chief is making the case for the other side. Didn’t anyone in the American media except Kaus think this worth writing about?

But a Google News search finds only Brit Hume of Faux News, who mentions it only in the second item of his column, in the course of taking a swipe at Daschle (and then of course adds the obligatory swipe at Clinton.)

Hume points out that Clinton’s column was written in support of his friend Tony Blair in the run-up to the Commons vote, rather than in support of Bush. Do you suppose, just possibly, that Blair asked and Bush didn’t?

The failure of the White House spin machine to talk this up suggests, once again, that the Mayberry Machiavellis will never allow such petty interests as national unity in wartime to interfere with sacred matters of partisan advantage.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com