Both Ed Morrissey:
Hmm. What might have happened in 2003 to convince Teheran to stop its nuclear-weapons pursuit? Could it have been the events on its western border, where the American military removed a dictator that they couldn’t beat in eight years of brutal warfare? Libya’s Moammar Ghaddafi certainly had the same idea in 2003, and for that very reason.
and Victor Davis Hanson:
The latest news from Iran about the supposed abandonment in 2003 of the effort to produce a Bomb â€” if even remotely accurate â€” presents somewhat of a dilemma for liberal Democrats.
Are they now to suggest that Republicans have been warmongering over a nonexistent threat for partisan purposes? But to advance that belief is also to concede that, Iran, like Libya, likely came to a conjecture around (say early spring 2003?) that it was not wise for regimes to conceal WMD programs, given the unpredictable, but lethal American military reaction.
After all, what critic would wish now to grant that one result of the 2003 war-aside from the real chance that Iraq can stabilize and function under the only consensual government in the region-might have been the elimination for some time of two growing and potentially nuclear threats to American security, quite apart from Saddam Hussein?
War is unpredictable and instead of “no blood for oil” (oil went from $20 something to $90 something a barrel after the war, enriching Iraq and the Arab Gulf region at our expense), perhaps the cry, post facto, should have been “no blood for the elimination of nukes.”
In the meantime, expect a variety of rebuttals to this assurance that for 4 years the Iranians haven’t gotten much closer to producing weapons grade materials.
identify the most striking information in the NIE Report, that the US invasion of Iraq had yet another important positive result, which a great many commentators may be relied upon to overlook.