“The invasion was not only a violation of international law, as marginal a concern in Washington as the anti-Taliban Afghan resistance, but also had no credible pretext on any grounds.
“Furthermore, ample evidence is now available showing that Afghanistan and al-Qaeda were not of much interest to the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld triumvirate. They had their eyes on much bigger game than Afghanistan. Iraq would be the first step, then the entire region. I won’t review the record here. It’s well-documented in Scott Horton’s book, Fool’s Errand.
“9/11 provided the occasion for the invasion of Iraq, which, unlike Afghanistan, is a real prize: a major petro-state right at the heart of the world’s prime oil-producing region. As the twin towers were still smoldering, Rumsfeld was telling his staff that it’s time to “go massive — sweep it all up, things related and not,” including Iraq. Goals quickly became far more expansive. Bush and associates made it quite clear that bin Laden was small potatoes, of little interest (see Horton for many details).”