“Regime change in Iraq.” It’s shorthand for a concerted push and plan to oust Saddam Hussein. The Bush administration wants him out or dead, calls it essential for Middle East stability and its “war on terror.” But that wisdom is being challenged in the papers, at the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill.
Today, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee begins hearings, about the timing, the cost and the wisdom of a new war with Iraq. And while hawks say toppling Hussein will end his plague of butchery, and shut down his arsenal of hate, others think the White House’s single-minded obsession with the Bagdad-bad-man ignores the subtle lessons of history. The trouble in Iraq, they say, is the trouble with clumsy colonial oppression.
Sandra Mackey, author of “The Reckoning: Iraq and the Legacy of Saddam Hussein”
Robert Lieber, professor of government and foreign service at Georgetown University
James Woolsey, former director of Central Intelligence (1993-5),
member of Defense Secretary Rumsfeld’s Defense Policy Board
Jay Carney, Time Magazine’s White House correspondent