Saturday, September 09, 2006

And The Meme Goes On

Kedley and I are still in manual labor mode. I'll post something of more substance when I get the chance. In the meantime, the partial release of a Senate Intelligence Committee report is making headlines with its claims that there was no Saddam connection to al Qaeda prior to the Iraq war. It is the ongoing "Bush lied" meme, being given another go-round by the media, this time using the Intelligence Committee report as its authority. Thomas Joscelyn, at The Weekly Standard, however, says the "new Senate report on Iraq and al Qaeda ignores everything which gets in the way of its conclusions." He cites other evidence and sources, and makes a pretty good case that the Committee didn't really do the job of fact-finding it claimed to do, and gave credence to sources it should have taken with a truckload of salt, or at the very least questioned more closely.

I've never bought the "Bush lied" mantra. I heard too many of his speeches in their entirety to believe that any one reason was the driving force behind our deposing of Saddam. Bush never claimed that Saddam was connected to 9/11, nor that Saddam and al Qaeda were working hand in hand, merely that there had been some contact between Saddam's regime and bin Laden's organization. There is no question that the two had some goals in common. However, neither WMD, or a Saddam link to al Qaeda were the exclusive reason for taking us to war. There were many, no matter whether some choose to forget that for political reasons, including the fact Saddam had defied the conditions of the cease-fire at the end of the first Gulf war for over a decade.

Another thing which contradicts the premise that the President took us to war under false pretenses is the number of Senators who supported the war in the first place, who did so on the same evidence used by Bush, but now find it politically inconvenient to stand on their decision. Too many of the war's current opponents switched sides when it became unpopular with their constituents. They are now trying to justify this switch by claiming their original information was faulty. Joscelyn casts doubt on their claims. As I said, I've never believed that Bush pulled a fast one on everybody just so he could get oil, or revenge, or whatever else his motives supposedly were. None of those motivations make sense to me, so maybe Joscelyn's preaching to the choir here, but read the Weekly Standard article anyway. It should at least confirm that there's more to the debate than what's in the report from the Senate Committee. The Saddam, al Qaeda link question is only one part of the "why we went to war" equation, but with every piece it's important that we get it right, and it's important that we consider all the evidence. Joscelyn doesn't think the Committee did.

Personal note: Here I was intending to just pop up the link and a short paragraph to tell y'all what it was about. This whole blogging thing takes on a life of its own. I just can't seem to stop myself from letting those darned opinions loose, even when I have other pressing work to do. Okay, this time I really am heading out to work. I'm going now. This is me going. I've almost torn myself away. Come on Kat, a little self-control!! Bye.