Saddam's WMD

From the New York Times :

"From interviews with Iraqi scientists and other sources, he said, his team learned that sometime around 1997 and 1998, Iraq plunged into what he called a "vortex of corruption," when government activities began to spin out of control because an increasingly isolated and fantasy-riven Saddam Hussein had insisted on personally authorizing major projects without input from others.

After the onset of this "dark ages," Dr. Kay said, Iraqi scientists realized they could go directly to Mr. Hussein and present fanciful plans for weapons programs, and receive approval and large amounts of money. Whatever was left of an effective weapons capability, he said, was largely subsumed into corrupt money-raising schemes by scientists skilled in the arts of lying and surviving in a fevered police state."

I get this increasing sense that this administration simply has no idea how dictatorships work. Having not lived in one myself I can't know for sure, but over and over again I get reminded of the post-SED East Germany I lived in for almost 4 years (though Honnecker was no Saddam, of course). Several key concepts from a population showering US troops with flowers upon our gracious arrival to trying to fire anyone belonging to the Baath party and not expecting some sort negative response, just scream of a lack of clear vision in this adventure.

Whatever the misjudgements of the past, Saddam's gone now, and that's that. As a nation, we now need to capitalize on that fact--not necessarily financially, but in terms of political capital.