Friday, June 06, 2003

Bush/Blair Lie? "Simply Inconceivable"

So Sayeth O'Reilly!

Unfortunately, the WMD situation is now been politicized. Fanatics on the left are screaming about lies and conspiracies. Fanatics on the right are yelling it doesn't matter if any deadly weapons are found in Iraq.

Both sides are wrong as usual. The truth is the WMD issue does matter, and President Bush needs to explain it. Talking Points believes the Iraq war was just, and the progress now being made between Israeli and the Palestinians would never have happened if Saddam Hussein was still in power. Just that alone makes the war worthwhile. We are not even mentioning the mass graves and other horrors of Saddam Hussein.

So, there is no question that America has done a good thing for the world. However, when the president of the United States tells the American people that U.S. intelligence has pinpointed deadly weapons and those weapons don't turn up, the President has an obligation to explain.


That being said, it is fair to all the hunt for the weapons to continue without these hysterical accusations of lies and deceit. People making those charges are being irresponsible and hurting the country. Let's face it, there is a good chance that deadly weapons are hidden in Iraq. It is beyond belief that both President Bush and British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, would conspire to lie to the world about this issue. Simply inconceivable.

Max Boot, Olin Fellow at the Council on Foreign Policy agrees.(registration required, go ahead, register; it's free)

Neither man is that stupid, he assures us. "Why would they lie, knowing postwar weapons searches were inevitable?"

Boot uses the same approach as O'Reilly, though with more finesse and fewer typos.

Not able to forgive George W. Bush and Tony Blair for being right, the naysayers are now emphasizing what looks to be their strongest argument: the failure so far to find weapons of mass destruction. The European press is in a frenzy about the "lies" that led to war. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman is already suggesting this may be "the worst scandal in American political history."

Those who make this argument must think that the U.S. and British governments are not only deeply venal but also stupid. Their theory, essentially, is this: The president and prime minister deliberately lied about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction to justify an invasion that they knew would show that no such weapons existed.

It is indeed puzzling that U.S. forces haven't found more evidence of WMD, but this hardly shows that Bush and Blair lied. It does show how imperfect our intelligence about Iraq was, which actually makes the case for preventive war that much stronger.

Many years ago, The pre-Murdock London Times ran one of its loonier contests; readers were asked to contribute the most unlikely headline of the twentieth century up to then. This is an approximation of the winner to the best of my memory's ability to reconstruct it: "Archduke Ferdinand Found Alive Running Rathskeller; WW I fought over mistake or hoax"

WW1 was far enough away in time for that imaginary headline to be funny.

One of the major reasons given by the most powerful military power on this planet for going to war is beginning to appear questionable.

Where's the outrage, you may have asked yourself? As ever, directed at anyone who's as much as noticed.