Monday, October 25, 2004

wsj covers failure to hit zarqawi - Questions Mount Over Failure to Hit Zarqawi's Camp.

Mostly the same facts, with a slightly more detailed timeline, few new quotes from interested parties and a new justification from the Bush admniistration:

"Another factor, though, was fear that a strike on the camp could stir up opposition while the administration was trying to build an international coalition to launch an invasion of Iraq. Lawrence Di Rita, the Pentagon's chief spokesman, said in an interview that the reasons for not striking included 'the president's decision to engage the international community on Iraq.' Mr. Di Rita said the camp was of interest only because it was believed to be producing chemical weapons. He also cited several potential logistical problems in planning a strike, such as getting enough ground troops into the area, and the camp's large size."
The new timeline indicates that the original plans were drawn up in June 2002 and then sat on by the White House until about February 2003.

For those with shaky memories, during the summer of 2002, the Iraq invasion was still just a marketing plan that hadn't yet been officially rolled out. Throughout most of the fall of 2002, Bush was openly disdaining any collaboration with the United Nations, and did not seriously start coalition building until late 2002.

One weird note about the WSJ article. Not once does the article mention that Zarqawi's camp was in an area of Iraq not controlled by Saddam Hussein. As a result, a casual reader could easily assume this was proof that Hussein had a chemical weapons plant and was harboring al Qaeda.