Listening to the debate and the two candidates arguing about Saddam Hussein and whether he was a threat, I realized that I didn’t really care. It’s not just that it’s water under the bridge, but that I didn’t care all that much at the time. The local problem was the Ba’ath regime, a regime that is naturally ruled by someone like Saddam Hussein. Beyond that, we’re really at war with the caliphascists, the forces that are striving to bring back the Caliphate (which includes both secular Ba’athists and hard core jihadis). Personalizing the war to Osama bin Laden or even just Al Qaeda shows (to me) a fundamental misunderstanding of the dangers facing the USA.
I suppose this is the key fault point for the pro-invasion vs. anti-invasion. To me, the invasion of Iraq was an excellent choice for bringing the war home to the enemy. There’s only one exit strateg that makes sense for American security interests, and that’s leaving when the caliphascists are a broken and discredited force. We’re nowhere near that yet, but we certainly need to be working on it. Iraq is now the primary battle ground where we are contesting the future with the caliphascists, but it’s not the only one. However, if Kerry can’t see how Iraq fits in I doubt he’ll figure out the rest of it.