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Thursday, November 17, 2005


Cheney says war critics 'dishonest, reprehensible' - Yahoo! News

We, the people, sometimes wonder why there is such a bitter divide within this country. Well, I think I can tell you - it's the headline writers!

Take a look at this article: Cheney says war critics 'dishonest, reprehensible' - Yahoo! News. Now, the phrase "war critics" covers a lot of ground. There are plenty of people who opposed (and still oppose) the Iraq war regardless of what the pre-war intelligence said.

But Cheney isn't talking about those people. Even the article says so. Cheney, like President Bush a few days ago, is only talking about those who, for political advantage, accuse the Bush administration of manipulating intelligence. In fact, Bush explicitly said: "While it's perfectly legitimate to criticize my decision or the conduct of the war, it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began" - but good luck finding that in the news coverage. Searching for that quote, I looked through several newspapers before finding in reported only in The Washington Times.

You don't have to be a rocket scientist to see that what Cheney's saying is true.. Go to the RNC homepage, click "Play Video", and watch "Democrats: Dishonest on Iraq" to see what these pols were saying then, and compare it to what they are saying now. And remember: a Senate investigation has already unanimously determined that no one applied political pressure to distort the intelligence that both Congress and the Administration saw before the war. If the Administration was manipulating intelligence, then what were they doing?

In fact, the truth isn't very hard to understand:
  1. Hussein did at one time have WMD. For example, he murdered around 5,000 Kurds with the nerve gas, VX.

  2. At some point, something did happen to Hussein's stockpiles. However:

    • Hussein never openly disarmed. He liked having people think he still had WMD.

    • Because no "western" intelligence agency was in position to follow where the WMD went, intelligence assessments around the world concluded that he still had them.

  3. Even though the intelligence hadn't changed, after 9/11, our tolerance for the risk that Hussein had WMD and might use it or give it to terrorists sharply decreased.

  4. The reduced tolerance cut across all party lines, at least for a while.

Now that the polls show public impatience with Iraq (which, in my opinion, is also driven by the way the war is reported), some politicians are trying to take back their previous conclusions, falsely blaming the Administration for their own judgement. That really is "dishonest" and "reprehensible" - I don't care who you are.

Of course, there doesn't seem to be any penalty for making false accusations, so why shouldn't they make them? Before this ever gets cleared up, they'll already be on to some other attempted smear.

So, to sum up: Cheney is right, the Headline is inflammitory, and all of us are to blame for not holding both the headline writers and the smearing politicians accountable for their misrepresentations. Honestly, people - don't we have enough real problems without manufactoring more rancor?

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