SPIEGEL: Isn't it true that Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld took advantage of the outrage over the 9/11 terrorist attacks to strike Iraq? Is it even possible anymore to deny that the war was based on manipulation, exaggeration and flat-out lies?
Kagan: That's absurd.
SPIEGEL: It's a commonly held view…
Kagan: The Bush administration's intelligence on Iraq was the same as the Clinton administration's, the German government’s and the French government’s before the war. We now know that Saddam wanted the world to believe he had weapons of mass destruction -- and the world did.
SPIEGEL: But, unlike Washington, both Paris and Berlin did not want to go to war without UN approval. And the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna asked the United States -- unsuccessfully -- for a few more months to complete its investigation in Iraq. But the US wanted this war for strategic reasons.
Kagan: In retrospect, we have to admit that Washington could have waited a while longer. That's a different question. But I think it's about time we moved beyond this silly conversation and these absurd conspiracy theories. There is a real debate as to whether we should have gone to war in Iraq. And now we should have an intelligent discussion about the new challenges we face in Iraq and elsewhere.
Via: The Weekly Standard