Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Getting the jump on the Competition

Have you ever noticed how people are always accusing others of doing what they themselves are doing? Their crimes prey on their minds, and so they naturally have to accuse others of guilt as a sort of defense mechanism. Well, as I'm sure you've noticed, the Democrats have accused President Bush of lying us into war. But who's really guilty of that crime?

President Clinton told us for years that Saddam Hussein was a threat. Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator Kerry, and others all spoke of the danger that Saddam Hussein posed to the United States and to the Stability of the region. They looked at the same information as President Bush and came to the same conclusion. George Tenent, a Clinton appointee, worked up that information that led President Bush and Congressional Democrats to invade Iraq. So who's fault is it really that we invaded?

It turns out it's still President Bush's fault, despite Terrence Jeffrey's article to the contrary. Mr. Jeffrey doesn't go quite as far as I did, but he comes close.

A few points.

1. It's false to suggest that the President's team and the Senate had exactly the same information. The information pool was larger; in particular, doubts about the legitimacy of some information was not passed on.

2. President Bush and his team advocated war; other parties did not. What's the old joke that to the main with a hammer, everything starts looking like a nail? President Bush and his team wanted to invade Iraq and remove Saddam Hussein from power as far back as the 1990s. Others, like Kerry specifically, wanted to remove the threat; but clearly would have been satisfied with simply removing the weapons of Mass Destruction (or ascertaining that they didn't exist).

Or, to put it succinctly, President Bush pushed for a military solution. He had a hammer and wanted to use it. So he gets the bill when the military solution proved to be more costly than he thought it would be.

3. It's interesting to contemplate what would have happened if in the spring of 2003, President Bush had decided to let the inspectors finish their job. He would have forced Saddam to re-allow inspectors into his country and the increased world surveillance. It would have been a victory; but, I guess, not enough of a victory.

4. Isn't this pathetic, when you think about it? I mean own up to it. Republicans and Conservatives wanted this war, and you know it. The fact that it has turned out to be somewhat of a disaster, well, that's the price you pay (in this case) for getting what you want.

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