Sunday, February 1, 2009

Did Larry Back the Iraq War?

I don't actually know, but this Harvard Crimson article suggests that it is more than a distinct possibility. One of the attendees remembered of those who attended that “they largely believed that Saddam Hussein did in fact have weapons of mass destruction; and that the invasion would probably succeed in its immediate goals.” Now, it just so happens that Larry and I were in the same place, acting on roughly the same information. I remember when, back in 2002, Christopher Hitchens came to the Harvard Kennedy School to debate Father Hehir, (I'm pretty sure Summers did not attend), but I certainly felt at the time that it was clear that we had little evidence that Saddam had any of the really harmful WMDs. Why did I think that? Because the White House kept announcing that it had a smoking gun, and whenever it was asked about it, it said either that it "is releasing it" or that it "had released it" or that it would "release it soon". Of course, they never released anything but crap. Yeah, I thought Iraq might have had a little mustard gas or something, but for me, that was the tell that Saddam more than likely did not have weapons that would justify a war, such as a nuclear weapons program...

Then, once, when being interviewed on Charlie Rose with Henry Kissenger, back in 2004, Rose asked Summers what America had to do to repair its damaged relations with Europe. Summers replied that it wasn't just what America had to do, the question was what Europe needed to do to repair its relationship with the US! For me, that's the tell. Larry thought Europe was wrong about Iraq, and so it was they who needed to woo us.

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