Saturday, July 17, 2004

Mo Dowd

Go read:

[. . .]

When the British report came out yesterday declaring that Saddam Hussein had no significant W.M.D., or perhaps no W.M.D., Tony Blair accepted "full personal responsibility" for "the way the issue was presented and, therefore, for any errors made."

Mr. Bush, by contrast, took full personal irresponsibility. Still pressing the preposterous case that he has made America safer, even though we are inundated with threats from Al Qaeda, and that he is winning the war against terror, even though there are more terrorist attacks, the president had to go farther afield to find a sufficiently enthusiastic audience.

Instead of fleeing to Canada to dodge a war, W. had to flee practically to Canada to defend a war. In the middle of July, the president was campaigning in the middle of nowhere, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan — the first president to bother to trek up to Nick Adams country since William Howard Taft.

Mr. Bush must have left the buck in deer country because the White House keeps passing the blame to the same C.I.A. that Dick Cheney and his Pentagon henchmen leaned on to supply the rationale they needed for the war they were determined to launch.

They're trying to turn George Tenet from lapdog to scapegoat, while letting Dick Cheney, the 800-pound gorilla who tried to turn the little C.I.A. analysts into parrots, continue his rumble in the jungle.

If this sounds like "Animal Farm," it is. What is more Orwellian than President Bush's rhetorical fallacies?

Campaigning at the nuclear lab in Oak Ridge, Tenn. — he finally found nuclear-related capability — Mr. Bush defended the Iraq war: "So I had a choice to make: either take the word of a madman or defend America." He also said of the terrorists, "We will confront them overseas so we do not have to confront them here at home."

That's nonsense. Just because more terrorists are attacking Americans abroad doesn't mean terrorists aren't poised to also attack us at home. And in fact, Bush officials keep warning us that terrorists are planning "something big" here, as the acting C.I.A. director, John McLaughlin, said yesterday in a radio interview.

It's just like the president's other false dichotomies: You're either with us, or you're with the terrorists. If we don't stop gays from marrying, it will destroy the institution of marriage.

[. . .]

I got nothing to add. Go read the full editorial here.

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