Col. A. James Bacevich, one of the finest officers the military has ever seen (and I can say this, because he was my Regimental Commander in Germany) writes in the National Review online:
Those opposed to the prospect of a U.S.-led intervention in Iraq are unlikely to change their minds based on Secretary Powell’s remarkably detailed report to the U.N. Security Council. Indeed, anti-warriors will cite the specifics provided regarding Baghdad’s deception and obstructionism to support their own conviction that inspections will, if given sufficient time, succeed in disarming the regime. Given the breadth and depth of the intelligence available, they will ask, what chance does Saddam Hussein have of keeping the weapons inspectors at bay?
But Powell’s true purpose was not to turn around public opinion, either at home or abroad. His purpose was to provide the so-called international community with one last chance to join Washington in doing what the Bush administration has long since concluded that the United States must do.
That is, Powell’s purpose was to make unmistakably clear that the United States intends to proceed with plans to forcibly disarm Iraq and of equal, if not greater importance make an end to the Baathist regime. The countdown to war is well underway and will soon reach zero.
In that regard, the identity of the messenger was at least as important as the words he spoke. The announcement that war is now all but unavoidable came not from the cowboy in the White House or his surly secretary of defense but from the senior official widely seen as this administration’s voice of reason, moderation, and prudence.
Go read the entire thing.
Also, John Hawkins presents some interesting poll numbers.