First Among Evils?; The Debate Over Attacking Iraq Heats Up
By DAVID E. SANGER
So when did Iraq become the most urgent of these problems — the one that had to be dealt with first?
The answer is sometime after Sept. 11. Before then Iraq was considered essentially a regional threat whose conventional military power was far weaker than it was during the 1991 gulf war. And critics of the Cheney campaign about Iraq argue that, at least based on what is known publicly, the equation hasn’t changed much.
”Where is the sense of urgency coming from?” Gen. Wesley Clark, one of several former military officials who have urged the administration to take a deep breath, asked on television. ”He’s had weapons of mass destruction for 20 years. He doesn’t have nuclear material, and we’d likely have some notice of the breakdown of the containment regime.”