1.27.2004

POLITICS - Just Another Day At The Office

Fried Catfish, the other resident blogger here, should be making more appearances in the near future. Hopefully there will be a regular blogging schedule, but who knows.

Another rough day in Iraq. Six US soldiers killed, two CNN employees killed. This situation is getting worse, and the non-stop Democrat Primary coverage is providing good cover for the Bush Administration.

Tuesday's killings brought to 519 the number of Americans who have died since the Iraq war began. Most occurred after President Bush declared an end to active combat May 1.
- Washington Post


The Bush Administration is doing a fine job of spinning David Kay's failure to find WMD. "Everybody else thought there were WMD, too, even the Clintons!!" seems to be the new neo-con excuse. This stems from the neocons passive infatuation with Bill Clinton, but it is also an attempt to fog the issue. Clinton may have believed that Hussein might have WMD, and regime change was certainly supported by Clinton (and especially by the neocons); but Clinton never suggested putting troops on the ground. But that's a different issue.

Bush is going to try and blame the US intelligence agencies for the disputed WMD claims, and you can already hear that spin from the right side of the media. Bush wants to claim that everybody agreed that Saddam had WMD. This is clearly a distortion of the truth. Calpundit has an excellent collection of quotes from analysts and politicians that disputed the claims of Saddam's grave and gathering danger.

Karl Rove desparately wants to control the language of the coming election. Conservatives know that the public wants to discuss the intelligence failures behind 9/11 and the Iraq war, and they are already trying to lay the foundation of the future arguments. Don't let this happen.

When you hear the claim "Everybody thought Saddam had WMD", you can say "Bullshit". Everybody understood that Saddam had some type of WMD program related ability, but many groups of inspectors and analysts believed that the threat was contained and not a gathering danger. Bush built his claims on intelligence that was admittedly weak, and communicated the worst possible case scenario to the American public.

When you hear the claim "Bush never called Saddam an 'imminent' threat", you can say "Bullshit. He said that it was a 'gathering' threat, which is a synonyn for 'imminent'. If you look at a thesaurus entry for 'imminent', you will see many of the words used to describe Iraq. Dan Drezner had an excellent bipartisan debate about Bush's coy wordplay during the buildup to war. Drezner concluded that Bush clearly implied through language that Iraq was an imminent threat, and many administrative figures like Cheney and Rumself clearly stated that Iraq was an imminent threat.

Progressives need to watch the language of the debates and the media commentary.

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