Neo-con bootlicker and Brit ex-pat Christopher Hitchens, as I mentioned below, is pissed off, and making less sense than ever:
Let me take the strongest objection to my interpretation, which is that the events of Sept. 11, 2001, were exploited by conservatives to settle accounts with Saddam Hussein and that many Americans have been fooled into war by thinking that Iraq was behind the attacks. Leave aside the glaring and germane fact that Saddam was and is in partnership with the forces of jihad...
Far from being "glaring and germane," this statement is patently false. Saddam Hussein's regime was actually antithetical to the goals of jihadists, who believe that all governments should be run by religious leaders. There is no evidence that he was connected to bin Laden or others.
...not even the sorriest illusion is in the same category as a book published by The Nation, written by Gore Vidal and flaunted at "anti-war" rallies, which argues that it was essentially George Bush who helped organize and anticipate the atrocity. That's a level of degeneration unplumbed by any other faction. So, the pitiful peaceniks are the chief moral losers, whichever way you slice it.
First, most libs dismissed Vidal. Compare that book's sales with those of, say, Savage Nation or Treason and you'll see, we disregard our fringe hangers. The right embraces their crazies. Only conservatives take Vidal seriously. If you need proof, check out the Amazon page where his book is sold. The advertisements on the page don't link to like-minded liberal authors (there are none), but to the book Useful Idiots by right-wing nutjob Mona Charen and other right-wing bullshit. As Amazon puts it, "Customers interested in this title may also be interested in":
Bush 2004 Merchandise
Bush Stickers, Hats, Pins, Signs Neckties, Fortune Cookies, more.
Bush 2004 Shirts & More
Great Conservative and Republican Shirts, Mugs and Bumper Stickers.
Second, there have been scores of essays explicity blaming Bill Clinton for bringing about the attacks against the WTC and the Pentagon. He turned down bin Laden when Sudan offered to turn him over, they say, leaving out the fact that such a deal would have meant allowing Sudan's leadership to continue its rain of terror. It would have been, in any sense of the word, appeasement. These same people defend Condi Rice's statement that the Bushies couldn't have anticipated the attacks, despite the fact they were briefed on something very like them not long before they occurred. Saying that the hawks have somehow remained above the "blame America" fray is ridiculous. No matter how far some on the right dig down, they will find that conservatives have clearly left no "level of degeneration unplumbed."
Should this solemn date be exploited for the settling of scores? Absolutely it should. When confronted with a lethal and determined enemy, one has a responsibility to give short shrift to demoralizing and sinister nonsense. (To take the most recent example of conspiracy babble to have shown up on my screen: I know very well that Bin Laden's family was evacuated from the United States, with FBI and White House help, in the "no-fly" days that followed the aggression. I wrote about it furiously at the time. But this disgraceful scramble surely proves, if it proves anything, that the Bush administration did not have time to prepare for an attack that it allegedly knew was coming. Meanwhile, those who mutter darkly about the Saudi connection overlook the rather salient fact that Saudi influence was exerted consistently and energetically against regime change in Iraq.)
Really read this and it's stupid on it's face.
Someone attacks us.
We have a problem with someone else.
We should be allowed to attack the second party because we were attacked by the first.
How does someone like this get to write for a national magazine (even on the internet)? It is by no means "demoralizing and sinister nonsense" to point out that military action should be supported by reason, evidence and, for God's sake, a plan to achieve some sort of ideal end state.
As for Bush's "disgraceful scramble," of course he didn't know it was coming. No one says he did. That's not the point of pointing out that the family of Public Enemy #1 received a level of courtesy denied to every American during that same time: The right to use American airspace to collect themselves in preparation for leaving the country. Hitch doesn't want to talk about this, though, but about clearly lunatic versions of history espoused by lefties to whom no one pays attention.
Update: Julia has more.