Over the past month there have been multiple calls for the President to "make the case" for the invasion of Iraq. These have come from Republicans and Democrats, mostly from opponents but also from some supporters, and both domestically and abroad. Apparently this is a prerequisite to getting Congress to approve the war, and for our allies to come along (albeit reluctantly) as the U.S. wages war. These calls to "make the case" make no sense. Saddam's perfidy has been evident for more than a decade.... Senior administration officials have been making the case for acting against Saddam for months... It is not clear what those calling for the President to "make the case" expect to get. It seems that these exhortations are simply a device for politicians to put off having to make a decision and stake out and defend a position on the issue. Until they agree that the President has "made the case" they can avoid going on the record for or against.     Going forward, the President and his senior officials "making the case" will no doubt simply continue to repeat what they have already said - more intensely, more frequently, in more forums, etc. but it is likely that precious little that is new will be forthcoming in the way of facts. Then sometime this fall, put on the spot, a majority of Congress will agree that the President has "made the case" and will approve a resolution giving the administration the green light on Iraq.
Opponents of action against Iraq will be wrong on the issue, but right to be skeptical if administration officials claim access to "new" or "secret" information that butresses their position. Many current officials were also in the administration of President George H.W. Bush in the first Gulf War when several of the reasons offered for taking action against Saddam Hussein that time around turned out to be not quite what they seemed. For example:
Should, as expected, the U.S. move militarily against Saddam, the following outlines the strategy that should be followed to ensure a quick success:
See OPED30 Beyond Making the Case   for some additional details.
© SNi 09/10/02