BUSH'S tragic mistake took place in the early fall, not this week. By narrowly focusing on a specific position (the with-drawal of Iraq from Kuwait) and not clearly enunciating United States interests (stability in the Gulf, elimination of the biological, chemical and nuclear threat), Bush forced Saddam into a corner.
Bush should have made more efforts to negotiate. Perhaps a way to diffuse the crisis could have been found that would have allowed Saddam to save face while discouraging other countries from similar aggressive actions.
But that opportunity has passed. The staff is naive to believe that sanctions would have eventually caused Saddam to pull out of Kuwait. We've all heard the story: if Saddam backs down he will likely be deposed and his family slaughtered. He has the ability to usurp resources for the military and subdue civilian unrest.
Military conflict was inevitable once talks broke down. Presumably, Bush's military advisors have access to more information than us, and they decided now was the most advantageous time to attack. Only time will tell.
We share the staff's revulsion for war and its hope for a swift resolution to this blight that has settled upon the world like a dark plague.