Friday, November 11, 2005

Dubya's New Argument

The President now says that, since everybody had the same intelligence back before we invaded Iraq, everybody should realize that we did the right thing, even though the intelligence was wrong.

*Wayne's World Time Travel Sound, which goes, "Diddle-liddle-doo, diddle-liddle-doo, diddle-liddle-doo..."*

Does anybody remember, back before we went to Iraq, debating about whether or not we, you know, should?

Cuz, I do. I remember seeing Colin Powell's UN presentation and thinking that, at best, what he showed the world would make a reasonable person support beefed up inspections in Iraq. It didn't prove Saddam had WMD, or even that he was close to having them, only that it was a possibility worth learning more about.

It'd be as if, around that same time, you had evidence that somebody on the White House staff had leaked the covert identity of a CIA agent to the national media. A rational person wouldn't run out and fire the entire White House staff, they'd appoint somebody to investigate.

The intelligence everybody had at the time, before the war, proved only that Saddam Hussein's ambitions for, ability to get, and possession of WMDs were things worth looking at more closely, not that we should freak out, turn green and muscular, scream, "America Smash!" and then turn the place into a zone of chaos that we'll be responsible for until the end of modern history.

Bush's real argument, what he's really saying, is: "Anybody who was me, knowing what I knew then, would have done what I did. Heheheh."

Well... okay. We knew that. You still screwed up, bozo.


At 11:45 AM , Blogger Jon E. said...

Yeah, I think you're right about the illogic of Bush's defense. He's saying, "Look, fellas, we all looked at the same evidence and we all reached the same conclusions." To me, the important problem with that is that if by "we" he means Senators and Representatives, it's not necessarily true. The meaningful charge that the Democrats are making is that the Bush Administration looked WMD intelligence, massaged it, and then showed the newly massaged--and DIFFERENT--evidence to the Congress.

But, in a way, Bush is right--the evidence against the was was out there. Various CIA analysts were making that point, anti-war groups were making that point, the governments and intelligence services of most of our allies were making that point. The fact that a pitiful handful of Congresspeople voted against the war seems to me to mean not only that they got duped but that they eagerly let themselves get duped because to do otherwise would be to risk short-term political fallout from taking an unpopular antiwar stance.

That doesn't excuse Bush's being irresponsible with evidence at best and deceptive with it at worst, but it does undercut the moral authority of the Congressfolk who voted for the war when they make their otherwise important and valid attacks of the rush to war.


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