Date: August 31, 2004
Sent to but not published by New York Times

At the Republican convention last evening (August 30), Senator John McCain said he supported President Bush's attack on Iraq because: "We couldn't afford the risk posed by an unconstrained Saddam in these dangerous times."

The Senator seems to have forgotten the situation on the ground just before the war began. First, Saddam was highly constrained because of the UN Sanctions on Iraq. Despite their problems, they had drastically reduced the potential for Saddam buying weapons materiel. Second, inspectors were on the ground in Iraq. Their reports suggested that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The eight months since Bush claimed victory have only confirmed their findings. No weapons have been found.

Would the Senator agree that Saddam was constrained? Would the Senator agree that, based on his own logic that the war was not justified?