Monday, November 14, 2005

Rebuttalpalooza; or, I'm Rubber, You're Glue...

When those of us who oppose the war against Iraq point out that the Bush administration fabricated intelligence and lied about weapons of mass destruction, some, especially proponents of the war, like to offer the rebuttal that many left-wing politicos took the same position as the Bush regime. Here is an example of the quotes they use.

Where does that leave us? Well, for one thing, it's not as if we on the left are going to say, "Damn! I never though of that! The republicans must have been right all along! I mean, if Hillary and Teddy were saying the same thing..!" I say, If right-wing analyists could be mistaken, then so could those on the left. All it proves is that the "bad intelligence" was spread around, shall we say, liberally. We also know that PNAC had these plans cooking a long time ago, so false or misleading intelligence may have been released over a long period of time.

In fact, the timing of the quotes is very telling. Note the dates. Most of the quotes are from late 2002, with one in Jan of 2003. Now, check this timeline of the Iraq war. Notice that the quotes to which right-wingers refer were made before Blix's report was issued. The quotes were based on - what? Doctored data from PNAC neocons, like the Downing Street documents?

It should also be noted that we who oppose the war are not naive - too idealistic, maybe, but not naive. We do not think that Saddam Hussein didn't want to amass a horde of weapons of all kinds; after all, we were his supplier and he was our point man in the Iran-Iraq war. We turned a blind eye to some atrocities. We helped make the monster, and it stands to reason that he kept some of the stuff we supplied him with. But, a dozen years and a crapload of bombing sorties later, his inventory was, evidently, depleted.

Another thing these pro-war bloggers always add when citing these quotes is the statement, "Maybe these people should be held accountable" [add snarky/sarcastic vocal inflection]. Well, certainly, they should; however, how many of the people cited in the list of quotes used those lies/errors as justification for invasion and conquest of Iraq? I mean, really pushed for it, the way the Bush regime did? How many were aware of the lies and false data contained in their remarks, the way the Bush regime was? You see, it's the lying and manipulation that need to be held to account. Not just the rhetoric, but the inappropriate action - using disinformation to deceive people into supporting their aggresive conquest for oil.

My point is: the notion that the [wholly misguided] march to war against Iraq was a bipartisan effort does not lessen the importance of opposing an unjust war. It does not weaken our position, nor does it weaken our resolve. All it does is illustrate the complexity and enormity of the geopolitical machinery that was put in place to invade and conquer the middle east. In the end, no WMD's were found, contrary to a lot of lies from the president and his associates that they existed and had been found.

And don't get me started on all that b.s. about the connection between Iraq and 9/11 (but oh, how Bush and Cheney cling to it because it fires up their base to no end).

So, a lot of democrat politicians were wrong about the war. Many of them changed their tune when it became apparent that they had been played for saps. If they realize they were wrong and make an effort to correct the error, then that's about the best we can hope for. The ones who ignore reality and continue to insist the emperor does have clothes are a problem.

But, hey, right-wing commenters and bloggers, know this: the quotes by democrats in favor of the war are not the intellectual secret weapon you would like them to be. You'll have to do a lot better to justify this.

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