Wednesday, May 19, 2004
WHY RUMMY SHOULD NOT RESIGN
If anyone has had a better piece on this than Thomas Sowell, I haven't read it.
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And Don over at Tusk and Talon asks it.
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RUMSFELD WAS RIGHT
In response to my post on the Des Moines Register’s editorial criticizing Don Rumsfeld, Harry at Slyblog, posted the a comment that included this testimony from the Secretary of Defense:
[N]o terrorist state poses a greater or more immediate threat to the security of our people than the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.
He’s amassed large, clandestine stockpiles of biological weapons, including Anthrax, botulism, toxins and possibly Smallpox.
He’s amassed large, clandestine stockpiles of chemical weapons, including VX, Sarin and mustard gas.
His regime has an active program to acquire nuclear weapons.
As far as I can tell, a 155 mm shell and some ineffective mustard gas didn’t and doesn’t pose an urgent threat to the U.S. And it certainly doesn’t come close to the assertion Secretary Rumsfeld presented to Congress.
Any one in their right mind would still believe Rumsfeld got it badly wrong on WMDs.
First off, it seems that we have some moving of the goalposts here. Yet not so long ago the rally cry from the left was “No WMDs”—in fact, Harry himself made this criticism a few times. Now that weapons have been found, the standard suddenly becomes “stockpiles” of weapons and “the most immediate threat.”
Despite the shifting standards, it is imperative that we hold our public officials like Rumsfeld to their public pronouncements. Yet the fact that we have only found a small amount of Sarin and Mustard Gas lends a lot more support to Rummy’s remarks than Harry (and probably many other anti-war folks) thinks that it does.
First off, if these weapons were found in artillery shells, what is the probability that these are the only two such shells in Iraq? Last time I checked, these things are massed produced, as they were at one point under Hussein’s thuggish regime. Thus, it is highly likely that they are part of stockpiles. Once more of these weapons are discovered, we can expect that the next tactic the anti-war crowd will debate the meaning of the word “stockpile.” It would sure be nice if we could nail them down on a definition now. 20? 50? 100? Alas, you can whatever amount of WMDs are eventually found, it will be insufficient, in their minds, to constitute a stockpile.
Finally, Rumsfeld’s warning of a threat seems all the more prescient now that we know these weapons were rigged as improvised explosive devices (IEDs), although Hussein may not have been a threat in the way that Rumfeld meant. Consider: If some sawed-off, half-assed remnant of Hussein’s army has access to these things now, who exactly had access to them when Hussein was in power? It certainly doesn’t seem that it would have been too difficult for some corrupt (were there any other kind?) Iraqi military official to sell some of this stuff to a terrorist, who could then turn it into an IED for use in an American subway.
I’ll just conclude that maybe it is time to stop worrying about what Rumsfeld said about threats and stockpiles, and focus our attention a bit more on where these weapons are now.
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Tuesday, May 18, 2004
HOW INEPT IS KERRY?
My latest at the Spectator.
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NEW MEMO FOR PEACE ACTIVISTS
TO: International Committee for Justice and Peace, International Committee for Peace and Justice, Unreconstructed Maoist Society, Help Starving Africans and Fight Globalization Movement, Solidarity With Oppressed Refugees (Except Those Fools In South Florida), Commonwealth Chapter of Head in the Anal Cavity Graduate Students, New York Times editorial page, Des Moines Register editorial page, Ted Rall, Ted Kennedy, and the rest of you.
FROM: The Committee
Oops! Looks like they’ve found WMDs in Iraq. That means it will be harder to maintain the “Bush Lied” mantra we’ve used with great effect for the last year. So, here are some suggestions to help you answer the coming questions.
Question: Do you regret saying that Bush lied about WMDs?
Answer: Not at all. Bush has lied about so many things, that it’s really his own fault. I mean, with all those lies, how were we supposed to know what was really true? Besides, it’ll probably eventually come out that Bush planted those WMDs in Iraq anyway.
(NOTE: If that last sentence draws strange looks, you might want to drop it from your answers, even though we know that it’s the truth. We’ll have to see how if plays out.)
Question: What other lies?
Answer: Well, for example, that there was a link between the 9/11 hijackers and Iraq. Unlike the WMDs, that will never be proven true.
Question: Do you think MOVEON.ORG should apologize for some of its ads saying that it wasn’t true that Iraq had WMDs?
Answer: Well, those ads were accurate at the time, and MOVEON.ORG has done this nation a great service by showing what a menace the Bush Fidayeen is.
Question: Do you think that the discovery of WMDs add any justification to the War Against Iraq?
Answer: Not at all. I mean look at the
insurgents freedom fighters who are now trying to drive out their imperialist occupiers. That shows that this war is another Vietnam. And don’t forget the unprecedented atrocities at Abu Ghraib.
(NOTE: Whenever possible, make a reference to Abu Ghraib. This will not only keep the light of truth shining on Amerikkka for the oppressive, brutal, right-wing fundamentalist theocracy that it is, it will help us raise money to pay for the buses to go to New York in late August.)
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BET THEY WISH THEY COULD HAVE THAT ONE BACK
A week ago today, the Des Moines Register ran an editorial saying that Rumsfeld should be fired because he “has been wrong at virtually every turn about the war in Iraq.”
Among the things he got wrong:
[He] was wrong about Iraq having weapons that posed an urgent threat to the security of the United States.
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A STRAW MAN
In its editorial on Brown vs. Board, the Des Moines Register just can’t stop itself from setting up a straw man:
…some revisionists go so far as to say that African-American schoolchildren might have been better off without the landmark decision.
Yep, all those Brown-vs.-Board revisionists, quickly gaining currency in mainstream America. Thank God we have the Register to set us straight!
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DENNIS, IT’S OVER
This article in the New York Times about Dennis Kucinich’s continuing quest for the presidency is a delight. My favorite part:
Mr. Kucinich recognizes this, and knows that much of the country has pretty much forgotten that he is still running. “At this point, I am not suffering from the overwhelming burden of high expectations,” he said.
Seems to me that could be the mantra for a whole lot of lefties.
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