Just a reminder

It's seems that now it's official: Iraq had no WMD.

Actually, it's about the third time someone reports this -- I think the last time was the Kay report presented to Congress. It may not be that important in the face of the fait accompli that is the occupation of Iraq, but it's worth remembering that this war was brought about by either mind-numbing incompetence or dishonesty. It's also worth remembering that many "apolitical" Middle Eastern experts were flogging this in the run-up to the war. The neo-cons and their allies may have been doing it for their own ends (i.e. they were dishonest) but how about the "liberal hawks," people like Ken Pollack (remember this?) Should we ignore these people next time they say something? That the Iraq war was fought on false pretexts may not be a big deal to politicians or even voters in the upcoming US election, but it should be a big deal to those people whose job it is to know about the Arab world and countries like Iraq -- the academics, the intelligence officers and the others who should have known better.

Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.