Friday, January 16, 2004

Jonah Goldberg makes it all better says Bush is stupid

Jesse has already taken Jonah Goldberg apart for this already, but I thought this bullshit should be addressed from another angle: Let's say Jonah's right.

Sen. Ted Kennedy gave another one of his angry speeches this week. With all the gravitas he could muster, he recycled his standard complaint: that the Iraq war was never really about WMDs or the war on terror. It was a "political product" from "Day 1" of the president's administration.

This echoes Kennedy's earlier diatribes, like last fall when he said, "Before the war, week after week after week after week, we were told lie after lie after lie after lie."

Personally, I think Kennedy's an embarrassment to his party. But that doesn't change the fact that he's taken seriously or that he speaks for a large constituency. So let's try to deal with the "Kennedy School's" view of the Iraq war.

First let me admit that I think the failure to find significant evidence of weapons of mass destruction easily constitutes one of the greatest intelligence blunders since Pearl Harbor. There's still a chance we'll find something. But if we do, it will probably be too little, too late to change this basic assessment...

But hold on. To argue that this was a huge intelligence blunder is to largely let George Bush off the hook for the even-more-popular Bush critique: that he lied to the American people about Iraq.

For Bush to have lied, he had to have known that there were no WMDs, right? It's not a lie unless you know the truth. If you say something you think is true that later turns out to be false, we don't call that a "lie," we call that a "mistake."

Again, Jesse has already pointed out that speaking about something as if its true and omitting caveats is a form of lie in an of itself, so I won't get into that here.

But, if we say that Goldie's right here then, at best, Bush made a "mistake" that has led to the loss of nearly 500 American lives, thousands of Iraqi civilian lives, the stretching of our military to the breaking point and the explosion of our national deficit. Why would Americans want to re-elect a man who would make such a "mistake"?


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