The Duelfer Report may end up as one of the most important documents SUPPORTING the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, despite what you may be reading in the mainstream media. Amazingly, the British press seems to get this, the American press does not. Here is a roundup of some links and commentary.
First, Mark Steyn's pithy comment (see link) is worth reprinting in full:
Don't take the word of your lazy rolling-news update anchor or the AP rewrite guy on the Duelfer findings on Iraq. Instead, read the report for yourself. It is an amazing document. It renders John Kerry, on foreign policy and national security, either a complacent food or an utter fraud. It's not about WMD, it's about the top-to-toe corruption of the entire international system by Saddam Hussein. The "global test" is a racket, and anybody who puts faith in it is jeopardizing America's national security. If the lazy US media won't pick up this story now, shame on them.
Naturally, the NY Times touts the no WMD findings. Here is its story on the Duelfer report, and here is a fisking of that story.
But a better summary of the Report is by the ISG itself. That summary is here. Compare it to the NY Times summary and see just how much the Times is skewing its reporting.
Meanwhile, The Scotsman (not a right-wing rag at all) sounds the right note twice: (1) in its article on how Saddam wanted to restart his weapons systems ASAP once he had the ability to avoid the effects of the US sanctions -- that means once the oil-for-food money allowed him to do so; and (2) in its report on how Saddam bribed the French to influence their votes at the UN.
One key point in the Scotsman articles that you won't see in the US media (except maybe in Fox News or the Washington Times):
Mr Duelfer said the world was better off with Saddam ousted from power[:] "In my opinion there was a risk of Saddam Hussein in charge of a country with that amount of resources and that amount of potential for both good and evil."
Also honestly appraising the Duelfer report is Glenn Reynolds, the ubiquitous Instapundit. Here is his take from GlennReynolds.com on MSNBC:
It's hard to pass the "Global Test" when the people grading it are being bribed to administer a failing grade. Perhaps Kerry should change his stance, and promise that a Kerry Administration would "outbid the bad guys." That approach is more likely to succeed than the one he's been touting, which even he has admitted is doomed.
Courtesy El Capitan, here is the list of many of the beneficiaries of Saddam's bribes.
And here's the key point from the Telegraph's story on the report:
. . . Mr Duelfer said at the start of the new millennium Saddam was "making progress in eroding sanctions - a lot of progress", and that had it not been for the September 11 attacks "things would have taken a very different course for the regime".
Pres. Bush has continually stated that it is irresponsible to wait until there is an imminent threat before confronting rogue regimes. He is right and Duelfer's report supports him.
See also continuing coverage here and here.