Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Distinctions with a difference

Tristero replied to my post which alluded to what I see as political ideology blinding his objectivity. His thoughts are in the comments of that post, along with my own counter. As I said there, I hope that I'm wrong in my perception, and I welcome his correction if that is the case. I offered a couple of examples of why I think I'm right in my perception, and I look forward to his thoughts.

In addition to those examples, I'd like to point to another instance, although Tristero's "responsibility" is only by way of approval: it's found in this post of his. Tristero quotes this NY Daily News article, which notes how both Rumsfeld and Rice disputed the idea of a link between Saddam and 9/11. The article notes that this runs in the face of Cheney's comments on Sunday with Russert, when he said that Iraq was "'the geographic base of the terrorists who have had us under assault for many years, but most especially on 9/11."

Perhaps it's just me, but I see no contradiction between these statements. Rumsfeld and Rice assert that (to the best of their knowledge) there is no connection between Saddam and the specific attacks of 9/11... they do not reject any connection between Saddam and al-Qaeda in general. There is a distinction here, and it is one with a difference: Cheney (and other administration officials) have argued that there was a link between Saddam & al-Qaeda, which is different from a link between Saddam and 9/11 in particular. Of course al-Qaeda carried out 9/11, but that doesn't mean that Saddam was in on 9/11, even if he and al-Qaeda were in cahoots in a more general sense. Let me offer an example: I'm sure that many people would say that there is an Israel-US link (to say the least); yet Israel has been caught spying on the US in the past. So if Israel can hide something from as close an ally as the US, why can't al-Qaeda hide something like the 9/11 plot from Saddam?

So there's that. Tristero approvingly quotes the story, headlining his post, "In Other Words: Bush conquered Iraq for no reason at all," and this is even more puzzling to me. Bush's case for war was clear; here's the simplified version: Saddam wishes ill-will against the US; Saddam is working on/has WMDs; these factors present a situation which we must deal with, by force if necessary, to prevent circumstances in which he might be able to employ WMDs against the US, either directly or indirectly.

There you go. He had a reason. You can disagree with him on various aspects of his case, but don't deny that he had reasons.

Update: the other blog I linked in the first post also claims there's a contradiction between Cheney and Bush on this. Again, that's simply not the case. The only way you might think so is if you're eager to jump on Bush's case about the war (and whatever else).

No comments: