A Mind That Suits What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

Saturday, November 15, 2003 :::
al-Qaeda and Saddam: the closest of enemies. The case for the war proven.

There is no doubt we should have gone to war in Iraq; there can be no dispute about that. And the war was vital as a battle in the larger War on Terror. One pollster, seeking to discredit President Bush, asked anyone who supported Bush if they believed three propositions. Memory fails at the distant remove of two weeks or so, but two of the three proprositions were "We have found Weapons of Mass Destruction" and "The link between Saddam and al-Qaeda has been established." The pollster maintained that Bush was in trouble because all three of the propositions were untrue. The implication: if people knew the truth, they would not support Bush.

Well, the redoubtable and personally brave Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard has proven just how important he is, and what an instinct for the most pressing news he has, by publishing the contents of a top-secret memo sent to the Chairman and Vice-Chairman (i.e., ranking minority member) of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. The gist of the memo: link between Saddam and al-Qaeda, proved. Beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Quel, as the French say, surprise.

Read it, absorb it, say a grateful prayer on behalf of Stephen Hayes for it.

Which of course, leaves the troublesome question of Weapons of Mass Destruction. The class of << conservatives who think the Kay report confirmed what the President said >> and the class of << conservatives who make their living writing >> seem to have a relationship known mathematically as "identity." They are the same set. In other words, if you are not paid to express your ideas, you seem to know instinctively what a problem the Kay report is. If you write for a conservative journal not named "The Weekly Standard," you seem to live in a land where only traitorous Democrats think the Kay report is a problem.

Put bluntly: this writer knows of NO conservative outside writers for conservative journals that is not deeply troubled by what Kay found.

Let's also be clear on this point: the Kay report also makes an excellent case for war. It does not make an excellent case for war in March, 2003, or an excellent case for a war when you do not go looking for Weapons of Mass Destruction. But we started a war in March, 2003 , with no plan for looking for Weapons of Mass Destruction. Kay made that very clear.

With the President's approval rating buoyed only by good economic news and the stupidity of the Democratic Party, the Kay Report is a problem.

Many conservatives paid to write still think the word "plan" is endlessly funny. (Others, such as the editors of the Weekly Standard and the redoubtable Michael Novak, go searching for a plan where the Administration has been silent.)

But a plan is not funny when taking others' lives in your hand, and the Kay report makes it clear that there was no plan for one vital aspect of the war. Which goes along with no plan for the economy, no plan for the transition, and no plan to protect vital sites, such as the Ministry of Interior, where records of membership in the Ba'ath Party were kept.

Which might just possibly be important when you have decided to hand the government back to the Iraqis using town meetings of people recognized as important among Iraqi's. If you have no record of what they did, how can you tell if they belong at those town meetings, deciding what the future of Iraq will look like.

::: posted by A Mind That Suits at 2:32 PM



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