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Date Posted: 13:31:23 05/07/06 Sun
Author: Chuck in ND
Subject: I don't think I've posted dh's columns recently

Here's his column from today:

Irrational unpatriots back Bush

Published Sunday, May 07, 2006

Ronald Reagan would have marveled at the hold President Bush, himself no conservative, has over so many conservative Americans. What emptiness of mind and heart, what depravity of soul impels the Bush fanatics to defend needless bloodshed, swollen government and ever-dwindling liberties? The latest saga of these unpatriots deals with the Bush administration’s Internet document dump of perhaps a million Iraqi papers.

In them the Bush defenders hope to find the existence of hidden weapons of mass destruction or substantial ties between Iraq and al-Qaida. The papers have been purportedly skimmed by government translators and nothing to crow about was found, but hope springs eternal in the breasts of those who wish to bail Bush out of the charge of evil warmongering. Even Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says “we’re going to find some important and surprising things in these documents.” Really, Condi? How do you know? And why would Bush leave such nuggets to a host of amateur translators?

The warmongers can’t win on the WMD issue. True, they and their mediameisters such as Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh would revel to high heaven in any discovery of WMD, but they would still be completely mistaken to justify war thereby.

Consider why we don’t attack England, which has all manner of WMD. We believe it lacks intent to attack us. The same applies to Saddam Hussein: no intent, no foul, regardless of what he possessed.

The British understand this, despite Tony Blair’s warmongering. One of the Downing Street memos – those documents that verify that Bush lied us into war with Iraq – considers the justifiability of self-defense. There must be an attack or an imminent attack, and the self-defense must be proportionate and confined just to stopping the attack. What’s more, “for the exercise of … self-defense there must be more than a ‘threat.’ There has to be an armed attack actual or imminent. The development or possession of nuclear weapons does not in itself amount to an armed attack …” The memo goes on to state that pre-emptive strikes are not justified by possession of nuclear arms.

So much for WMD as justification for war.

A more promising route for the Bush brigades is to establish an operational connection between Iraq and al-Qaida. The 9/11 Commission has already pointed out, and the Iraqi documents verify, several casual contacts in the 1990s between the two entities. But the crucial point has always been: did these two entities act together for 9/11 like Bonnie and Clyde?

You almost wish, even knowing that the warmongers would dish out crow for mass consumption, that they would find something substantial. Perhaps then there might be some rationale, some small justification, for the many thousands of innocent Iraqis we’ve killed and terrorized. Maybe the pictures of small Iraqi children spattered with their slaughtered parents’ blood at some trigger-happy American checkpoint would not be so pointless in their horror.

Establishing such a partnership will be a tough row to hoe for the Bushies. Given that the 9/11 Commission and the Select Senate Intelligence Committee have come up empty-handed on the matter, and they had access to the same documents now dumped onto the Internet, perhaps it’s the amateur sleuths’ hope to connect Saddam with Osama bin Laden through many tiny ligatures, rather than a few large collaborations. But the documents may work against them. One paper notes rumors that al-Qaida members had infiltrated Iraq, clearly showing that they were not invited and that Iraqis wished to keep an eye on them.

Hope is last to die, but keeping it alive merely to defend a president who is undercutting what made America good is inexplicable.

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