Letting Zarqawi escape

It seems that the Bush Administration in 2002 preferred Abu Musab Zarqawi alive, and an argument for invading Iraq, to Abu Musab Zarqawi dead.

I’d like to hear what the warbloggers have to say about this, other than slime-and-defend. It seems that the Bush Administration in 2002 preferred Abu Musab Zarqawi alive, and an argument for invading Iraq, to Abu Musab Zarqawi dead.

The majority is right: these guys aren’t even to be trusted on terrorism, which they’ve made their signature issue.

Author: Michael O'Hare

Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley, Michael O'Hare was raised in New York City and trained at Harvard as an architect and structural engineer. Diverted from an honest career designing buildings by the offer of a job in which he could think about anything he wanted to and spend his time with very smart and curious young people, he fell among economists and such like, and continues to benefit from their generosity with on-the-job social science training. He has followed the process and principles of design into "nonphysical environments" such as production processes in organizations, regulation, and information management and published a variety of research in environmental policy, government policy towards the arts, and management, with special interests in energy, facility siting, information and perceptions in public choice and work environments, and policy design. His current research is focused on transportation biofuels and their effects on global land use, food security, and international trade; regulatory policy in the face of scientific uncertainty; and, after a three-decade hiatus, on NIMBY conflicts afflicting high speed rail right-of-way and nuclear waste disposal sites. He is also a regular writer on pedagogy, especially teaching in professional education, and co-edited the "Curriculum and Case Notes" section of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Between faculty appointments at the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, he was director of policy analysis at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs. He has had visiting appointments at Università Bocconi in Milan and the National University of Singapore and teaches regularly in the Goldman School's executive (mid-career) programs. At GSPP, O'Hare has taught a studio course in Program and Policy Design, Arts and Cultural Policy, Public Management, the pedagogy course for graduate student instructors, Quantitative Methods, Environmental Policy, and the introduction to public policy for its undergraduate minor, which he supervises. Generally, he considers himself the school's resident expert in any subject in which there is no such thing as real expertise (a recent project concerned the governance and design of California county fairs), but is secure in the distinction of being the only faculty member with a metal lathe in his basement and a 4×5 Ebony view camera. At the moment, he would rather be making something with his hands than writing this blurb.

2 thoughts on “Letting Zarqawi escape”

  1. Not quite sure how you get from "others believe that…" to "it seems that…" The facts appear to be clear – that Bush could have authorized a strike which would almost certainly have taken out Zarqawi and not harmed any innocent lives, but chose not to. What is not clear, imagination aside, is WHY. Such a question should absolutely be put to Snow, but the answer should not be assumed just because it feels good.
    BTW, I don't recall Zarqawi being considered at all significant in 2002. Does anybody have a link to any stories about him from back then?

  2. Weren't we trying a diplomatic initiative to make an international force against Saddam at the time. In retrospect, trying for such a force looks like folly. But at the time Powell and the like thought there was a real chance of bringing people aboard. Wouldn't an in-Iraq and on-ground action (surely you aren't counting on a cruise missile strike knowing what we know about the success of that against Saddam months later) have caused our potential allies to feel unfairly pushed?

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