Jean Chretien said yesterday that war in Iraq is not necessary, because Bush already won:
A war against Iraq over banned weapons is not necessary because the U.S. has already won, Prime Minister Jean Chretien told ABC Television in an interview broadcast Sunday.
He said credit should go to President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair for putting pressure on the Iraqi regime by moving 250,000 troops into the Gulf region.
“The president has won,” Chretien said in an interview taped Saturday for the ABC news program This Week with George Stephanopoulos. “I have no doubt about it. He won.”
The danger of delusional victory is that it has a way of coming back to bite you in the ass. Say the world agrees with Chretien and decides that Iraq has been successfully contained and disarmed. Say they then decide to back off. Everyone will be happy, under the delusion that they made peace . . . but saying it’s so doesn’t make it so, as we’ll find out all too soon when Saddam launches one of the many weapons he keeps claiming not to have against the Western powers who were so cheerfully sure of their victory.
In 1991, everyone thought we won too, remember? So the cardinal rule was broken: nobody bothered to finish the job. That’s why we’re now in this mess, twelve years later.
Chretien may enjoy living in la-la-land. But it’s the Americans who are the realists here. They know that victory isn’t just a declaration on a TV show; it involves a price. And unlike Canada, they have the moral fortitude to be willing to pay it, if necessary.