Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

The War--Always the War

A number of discussion threads on previous posts on Cindy Sheehan and other subjects have come back to the purpose and justness of the Iraq war. And as has been the case for more than two years, the matter gets wrapped up in the red herring of the WMD issue.

Why red herring? Because, as several commentators have noted, WMD was only one among several reasons given for the invasion of Iraq, and focusing in this alone is to ignore grand strategy. That WMD was overemphasized is the result of pure legalism (probably deferring to British insistence, I am told around DC), since WMD was the live legal issue that might have got UN blessing. A clear mistake, in retrospect. But does anyone think that if we had found WMD, the carnage and difficulty in Iraq today would be any less controversial? Would Cindy Sheehan not have gone to Texas if we had found a huge sarin gas plant? (Remember: She has said she opposes our actions in Afghanistan, too.)

Iraq, it is said, didn’t attack us on September 11 (though we were in a de facto state of war already, with Iraq shooting at our UN-sanctioned flights every day and having attempted to assassinate a former U.S. president, among other things). True, but neither did Germany attack us in 1941. Yet after Pearl Harbor, where did we land troops first? North Africa. Go figure.

Throughout 1942 there were numerous opportunistic Republicans criticizing FDR’s "Europe first" strategy, saying, "Japan attacked us, not Germany; why are we getting involved in Europe again. It ended badly last time, etc." (See Fred Siegel’s fine account of this in his book Troubled Journey.) Sounds rather like the other party today. Democrats lost something like 60 House seats in the 1942 election; the great collective memory of American unity in the early innings of WWII is a myth.

The grand strategy after September 11 is fairly clear: we are going to attempt to restructure the Middle East. It is put in more idealistic terms (democracy, etc), but then transforming Japan and Germany into stable democracies was not the explicit endgame of WWII grand strategy either. In this case we are more forthright about the desirable endgame. Today we have reversed the rhetoric, which, conversely, makes the policy more difficult to judge a success along the way. Perhaps we should have started with Iran instead (this is Michael Ledeen’s argument) or with Saudi Arabia or Syria (Libya seems to have got the message), but it cannot be denied that this, and not WMDs, is the central purpose afoot.

It could be put even simpler. In a conversation with a moderate liberal journalist friend in Washington who hates the war and has become a huge Bush critic, I remarked that the whole thing was rather more straightforward: When something like September 11 happens, someone is going to lose their country. Iraq is at or near the top of any short list of candidates. To which he replied: If Bush had said that, I’d could support it.

Discussions - 28 Comments

Regarding unity in wars, I ’ve been reading Joseph Ellis’s His Excellency: George Washington this week. Ellis describes how unpopular the War of Independence fairly quickly became. As he puts it, the spirit of ’76 should really have been called the spirit of late ’75 and early ’76. There were early, and false, expectations that we had "turned a corner" when the British gave up Boston in March 1776, then a huge military debacle, personally overseen by Washington, at New York in the summer popped that balloon. Trenton turned things around somewhat, but Ellis says that the war probably never came near regaining its early levels of popularity. It remained a rather hand-to-mouth enterprise for its duration, yet nonetheless independence was won.

The chapter on how independence was declared in David McCullough’s biography of John Adams is also useful for its vivid evocation of just how bitterly divisive and uncertain the issue of breaking away from Great Britain was at the time. This was no smooth ride even at the height of the "spirit of 76."

Complex historical events and processes seldom look clear from the inside, even as the cost side of the ledger is all too horribly apparent. Even WWII, the classic ’good war,’ was no exception, as anyone familiar with the strategic debates and the many deadly FUBARs of that conflict can attest. I can name two disastrous cock-ups in the spring and summer of 1944--Slapton Sands and St. Lo--that together killed almost 1,400 GIs in the space of about 90 minutes each, in one case by friendly fire. America at the time had half the population it now has. Had a grieving mother of one of the 800 US GIs killed by our own bombers at St. Lo camped out at Warm Springs demanding to know why FDR had ’misled’ us into war by provocatively advancing the US Fleet to Hawaii from California, attacked Germany which never struck us first, etc., what would we think of that now?

Well said, PJC. I expect I’ll hear otherwise from other readers.

Steven - I hesitate to begin, because, like many of you, I have many preparations to make. but....

(1) This new version of Bush’s motives may well be much closer to the truth, but then why isn’t Bush himself articulating it? (2) Are we (you?) so filled with hubris that we believe we can reconstruct the entire Middle East in our desired image? Have we forgotten Iran, including our support those days of Iraq? Have we forgotten the history and current reality of Israel?

As for previous wars, we seem a bit selective regarding the lessons we learn from them, and the data that we present: (1) Germany and Japan were formal allies, [unlike al Quaeda and Iraq] and (2) Germany was quite literally in danger of taking over all of Europe [unlike Saddam], (3)Certainly, every war has its detractors, and probably should, but the Revolution AND WWII AND WWI were fought through to the end by us because the "moral justification" for them overshadowed the relatively few detractors. That was not the case in Vietnam: you blame the detractors, and I blame the lack of moral justification. Now, it seems that you are searching for (or finally discovering) what we really wanted to achieve all along!

I’m afraid I don’t buy it. I don’t buy the timing, and even if it DOES reflect foreign policy, it smacks of hubris, arrogance, and ultimate defeat and ruin.

"Relatively few detractors"?

Maybe, maybe not. A historical instance: By the late summer of 1864, most Northerners believed that the Union side was LOSING the Civil War. Defeatism was rampant. Lee had fought Grant to a bloody stalemate. Lincoln was convinced that he could not win reelection. It was not at all clear at the time that the detractors would wind up being the few rather than the many. Much the same could be said of the American Revolution. In the north a lot of the most intense detractors fled to Canada which eased matters some. In the south they had nowhere to flee and the War of Independence assumed the character of a typically very nasty internecine and partisan war.

Japan and Germany had a formal but nominal alliance. Hitler did FDR a huge favor by spontaneously declaring war on the US on December 9, 1941. It may have been the Fuhrer’s biggest strategic blunder aside from inexplicably letting the British army survive when he had it pinned against the English Channel in late May 1940. Arguably the naval/maritime quasi-war that was onging between the US and Germany as of fall 1941 would have given FDR the leverage he needed to make fullscale war on Hitler, but had Hitler played things cagier than he did, who knows how long he might have delayed that and thereby hampered the war effort against him? Steven is right to remind us how controversial at the time was FDR’s "Germany is Enemy Number One" attitude.

Saddam had shown a taste for regional territorial aggression and there is evidence that he had still had the itch for WMDs and was regaining the means to scratch it, even if he lacked the extant stockpiles once thought to exist by many others besides Bush.

If one resorts to a few vs. many standard to judge whether detractors are morally "overshadowed" or not, I can’t resist pointing to the results of the last election. All the antiwar arguments were on the table and at issue in that race, and the antiwar side lost. Now the same arguments are being warmed over for 2006. Having been rejected by the voters once already, can they hope to succeed? The answer is probably only if disasters for our side reshape the playing field. Do liberals actually wish for such disasters? I don’t know. But I do see evidence from leftist discourse that hatred of George Bush and all he touches is so overmastering a passion that ALL other considerations--including considerations of success or failure in the war effort (which leftists mainly have an impulse to deny or badmouth anyway)--take a back seat. This may not add up to a malicious desire to see us lose, but it does betray a massive lack of seriousness. Michael Walzer, a leftist himself, asked after 9/11 "Can there be a decent left?" I’m agnostic on that right now, but to the question "Can there be a serious left?" post-9/11, the evidence so far points to a resounding no.

Walzer wrote his essay, it’s worth mentioning, in reaction to leftist naysaying about the war in Afghanistan (something that seems to have gone down the memory hole of late as many on the left have stepped up to profess themselves backers of Operation Enduring Freedom, usually prefatory to their attacks on Operation Iraqi Freedom):

http://www2.kenyon.edu/Depts/Religion/Fac/Adler/Politics/Waltzer.htm

Fung:

I think Bush has articulated this rationale (the idealistic version--democracy and reform--not my realpolitik blunt version) several times, but it has been inconsistent and was drowned out by the overemphasis at the crucial time on WMD. And not unlike the Civil War, the war aims here are evolving somewhat as we go. (Union Civil War policy, I argue--following John Stuart Mill’s perceptive analysis--began chiefly to preserve the union, and only became an anti-slavery war after the E. Proclamation was issued).

Now I didn’t say that this grand strategy was necessarily wise, good, or feasible, but merely wanted to point out that it was at least a serious grand strategy that should be recognized as such, and to move the discussion beyond the tired back and forth about WMDs. I’m not sure what the broad alternatives are, though I have some sympathy for the people who argue that Reagan wouldn’t have done it this way.

One problem is that past comparisions only become clear with lots of hindsight. Our Cold War grand strategy now looks (mostly) coherent and deliberate in hindsight, but in fact if you go back and look closely you see the same kind of indecision and confusion and dissent you see now in the early post-war years. Today is, I suggest, 1947 or 1948 in Cold War terms. We still don’t have our NSC-68 document on our politico-military doctrine for a protracted war on terror. (Or, we might have one, but it is classified, which doesn’t help citizens see where we are going.)

One this is for sure: if you had told the American people in 1946 that the Cold War was going to mean maintaining 200,000 American troops in Europe for 50 years, two large scale wars in Korea and Vietnam, a costly arms race and lots of other difficulties, I don’t think people would have liked it, nor supported it. This is not to suggest we are being deceived now, since no one knows what may be ahead or what may be required to extinguish radical Islam as dead as radical European fascism is now dead. It is just to say that visibility in all of this is difficult in the middle of things, as PJC suggested.


More to say, but my afternoon bike-riding partner has arrived, and the coastal fog has lifted out here in CA. See you again 40 miles from now.

Having worked with war planners and given assistance to them in imagery intelligence matters, I have an inside view of how these things work. The one thing that’s certain is that there’s always a screw-up or two, and the plans don’t survive contact with the enemy.


As for invading Iraq first, we didn’t - we attacked Afghanistan first. Iraq was the logical follow-up. Remember, Bush sees this as a decadal war, not something accomplished in the next 45 minutes. Attacking Iraq made excellent sense: we were already at war with Iraq, and have been since 1990; Hussein never fully complied with the armistice agreement; having troops in Iraq gave us leverage over Syria, Iran, and Saudi Arabia; Iraq was supposed to be (and has proven effective as) a "leech pit" - to syphon off Al-Qaeda strength, money, and expertise;, and US forces would gain essential knowledge in how to fight a terrorist war.


It hasn’t been easy. It’s been a hard slog from day one. Yet we’ve lost less than 2000 men in almost three years, versus the death and injury at Tarawa during World War II, where a Marine division was virtually decimated by about 2000 Japanese soldiers.


The big problem today, in comparison with World War II and Korea, is that so few Americans actually know someone in the military. We’re a nation of over 280 million people, with a military of less than 1.8 million. During World War II, there were few homes that didn’t have someone serving (20+ million out of a population of 160 million). There’s not much of a personal commitment to this war, because too few people know anyone who is actually serving, or have the experience of serving themselves. Our military no longer reflects "the people" as a whole, but only a very small part of it. The fact that numerous institutions are adamantly anti-war because of basic philosophy, and staunchly anti-Republican to boot, makes engaging in and winning a decadal war much more difficult. These anti-war activists fail to realize that failing to win this war will seriously jeopardize their lifestyle - and their very lives - just as much, if not more, than failing to stop Hitler, or failing to defeat communism. It is these people who have failed to learn the lesson of Vietnam. This time, however, it’s our very civilization that’s at stake, not just another piece of real estate.

I was trying to tell Fung some of this on another thread, but got nowhere of course. The points here are still valid (regardless of reception) and well-stated. We need more threads like this that hit the nail on the head.

I agree with Dain, this is a very instructive thread, and it has given me a great deal to think about.

Steven,

Great post. And I love the very well thought out comments both for and against. One of the key points where this war differs is certainly the way the media portrays it. In explaining this to a liberal friend I used the following example:

Here is an example of a WWII story told by todays media. FLASH : US suffers another disaster. In a poorly timed attack launched with the full permission of the president, an entire squadron of highly trained B-25 bomber crews and their aircraft were lost today. Not a single plane returned. Many of the crew have been killed or captured. Several of the captured were beheaded by their captors. We are rushing for the follow up story with one of the mothers of a deceased crewman. Apparently not only did this disaster cost us this entire squadron, but the attack did very little damage to military targets, and reportedly hit civilian areas and possibly a hospital as well.

The above story is a very accurate description of the Doolittle Raid. One of the greatest VICTORIES in our history.

Papa

Thanks Fung, Dain, PJC, and others for great comments on this thread, and for its serious spirit. This is blogging at its best.

I am pretty sure I blogged about the Walzer essay on the "decent left" that PJC mentions (I’ll go back and look for it in a minute), and, heresy it may sound, I was arguing to a number of my conservative friends last fall that there was a significant upside if Kerry won the election (but No, I don’t want to refight the election campaign or the Swift Boat stuff), because if he won the Democratic Party would have partial ownership of terrorism policy. They might or might not have flubbed that responsibility, but the "decent left" could not longer get a daily free shot at Bush. This is why I find watching Hillary’s extremely careful posture on war issues so interesting. I think she gets this, no matter what we may think of her. (I actually think a President Hillary would be quicker to relatiate for a WMD attack on an American city than Bush or another Democrat, on the theory I laid out before--when something like that happens in America, someone is going to lose their country. Hillary would have little hesitation, I think, makking Tehran and Pyongyang glow in the dark.)

But these are musings. The main point of this discussion is that the larger question of what our grand strategy is toward terrorism is not wholly clear, and gets left behind in the furious arguments over WMD, "Bush lied," etc. Bush has set out some broad concepts and committed us in specific places (Iraq and Afghanistan), but many basic features of a strategy, not to mention on the ground tactics, are not clear.

If a key part of the problem (or the entire problem) is Islamic extremism, where is the equivalent of Radio Free Europe that we had during the Cold War to counter Communist ideology? Do we have a counter to Al Jazerra, the Pravda of the Islamic world? For that matter, why don’t we jam Al Jazerra, or even shut the damn thing down, since it broadcasts unremitting anti-Americanism? We used to tell off our European allies quietly but firmly from time to time when they indulged in cheap anti-Americanism. It seems to me we should tell our Arab "allies" that some things they encourage are intolerable and must cease. I don’t know if we are doing this with the Saudis or not--I hear both things--but if we are not it is the real scandal of the effort, not botched WMD intelligence.

Steve, with regard to communications and public diplomacy, we do have the Arabic-language al-Hurra network up and running now. As I’m not an Arabic-speaker, however, I can’t attest to the quality of its programming. Public diplomacy is an area where I think we still have tons of room for improvement. While I support our military involvements in Iraq and Afghanistan, I also have this nagging suspicion that there’s a lot more we could be doing in the way of both public and private arm-twisting, lobbying, and so on with various problematic Middle Eastern regimes on a number of issues. We let way too many of the powerholders over there play doubletalk games with us (why, for instance, did we learn after the London bombings that there are STILL extremist [and probably Saudi-funded] madrassahs operating in Pakistan years after Musharraf vowed to put a stop to them? Musharraf and Saudis need to be made to answer for this.)

This speach is interesting. I wonder how many bloggers here will read it before they attack me. What I think is interesting is that most of the speech is not about WMD’s. What I also find interesting is that no connection between Iraq and 9-11 was made. However, as can be proved by people captured or killed in Iraq, that he did cooperate with terrorists and help offer them asylum and haven. I think it is interesting to note as well that the terrorists who hi-jacked the cruise liner in the 80’s (the one who threw the wheelchair stricken person over board) was found in Iraq right after invasion.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/09/20020912-1.html

Yes,..., that would be Abu Nidal, one of the most notorious terrorists in the last 30 years. He committed "suicide" in Bagdad just before the invasion.

And don’t forget those famous Iraqi terrorists Timothy McVeigh, Shawn Berry, and Edgar Ray Killen. Good thing we invaded Iraq and brought them to justice!

I think you’ve milked Abu Nidal for everything you can get out of him. Give it up, Dain! This post was going so well!


Bringing up three none iraqi’s in no way dissproves my point it just makes you look like a smarta$$. How about you read Tommy Franks’ book who was in charge of CENTCOM appointed by Clinton and serving until 2003 I believe. He spells it out clear. But of course I am sure you won’t and will keep dodging what my post was about.

What I think is interesting is that most of the speech is not about WMD’s. What I also find interesting is that no connection between Iraq and 9-11 was made. However, as can be proved by people captured or killed in Iraq, that he did cooperate with terrorists and help offer them asylum and haven.

The Left sees only what it wants to see. Sure, Saddam was a bastard, he killed his own people (hundreds of thousands of them), he used WMD, he invaded half his neighbors, he broke bread with and financed terrorists, and he was shooting at our jets on a routine basis...but Osama wasn’t in Iraq, so leave the poor man alone! Hilter wasn’t in Tokyo either, but so what?

Dear .... and Dain-

I AM a smart a$$!!! For instance, I had no idea that Tommy Franks’ book was in charge of CENTCOM. Usually, they reserve that responsibility for humans!

Second, if you read a bit between the lines, you will realize that I am criticizing the scanty evidence that you and others keep clinging to that Bush wasn’t lying about WMD’s and collusion with terrorists. My point is that, if your flimsy evidence is reason to invade a country, then we should invade ourselves! One or two terrorists? We’ve got more than that! WMD’s? We’ve got those, too! Invading neighbors? Where’s Granada? Where’s Panama? Who has more people incarcerated than the U.S.? Who has killed more people, recently, via "collateral damage," than the U.S.?

Now, I am not suggesting that we should invade ourselves. I am suggesting, instead, that you should give it up!!! Steven H. has gone on, and is rewriting a historical justification for the invasion that has nothing to do with WMD’s and terrorist camps. Why don’t you get with the program?

"Why red herring? Because, as several commentators have noted, WMD was only one among several reasons given for the invasion of Iraq, and focusing in this alone is to ignore grand strategy."

Had we asked a million Americans in early March 2003 what the reasons were for any imminent invasion of Iraq, the most popular answer that the public would have given would be "WMDs," without a doubt. Maybe some right-wing Beltway boys would say otherwise, but the public heard the Bush White House say WMDs, over and over and over again. There were also murmurs, mostly provided by Cheney, about a 9/11 connection, and to a much lesser extent, the repressive Hussein regime.

Strauss was big on the idea of the "noble lie" and wise leaders developing mythologies for public consumption (exoteric teachings) while having their own (private, esoteric) programs which, while supposedly not readily understood by most of the citizenry, are to their benefit, and this will take society on the best possible path.

Maybe this talk of "grand strategy" is a Straussian revision? The public wouldn’t understand (or necessarily support) the alleged democratizing of the Middle East (the esoteric truth and goal), starting with Iraq, so we had to tell them something they could understand, like Weapons of Mass Destruction (the exoteric reason given for the invasion).
Most people would call this deceptive, for the Straussian Neo-cons it’s just the noble lie to keep their might-makes-right agenda on course.

I liked the following morsels from this AP article:

"Several times the crowd of about 1,500 chanted, ’Cindy, go home!’"

I must remind myself that NOBODY is trying to restrict Cindy’s freedom of speech!! I guess only a__-kissing, card-carrying Republicans are now allowed to stay in Crawford?

"At the pro-Bush rally, there were some heated moments when two members of Protest Warrior, a group that frequently holds counter protests to anti-war rallies, walked in with a sign that read "Say No to War — Unless a Democrat is President."

Many Bush supporters only saw the top of the sign and believed the men were war protesters, so they began shouting and chasing the pair out. One man tore up their signs. When Will Marean of Minneapolis kept repeating that he was on the Bush side and tried to explain Protest Warrior’s mission, one Bush supporter shook his hand and apologized."

Again, this kind of strikes me as an attempt to squelch someone’s freedom of speech, chasing them out, tearing up their sign and all. But I guess if we approach all of this with a warrior mindset, as apparently the "warriors" from "Fort Qualls" and so forth wish to do, we’d have to brush this off as some "friendly fire," eh?

Those are some excellent points from T Moore. I hear nothing but crickets here at Neocon Central, NoLeftTurns. The message given to the public, and dutifully primed and passed on by the media, was all about the WMDs. This "Grand Strategy" junk about the Bush Administration caring about and wanting democracy for the people of Iraq is that unique variety of b.s. that’s completely transparent! It’ll be interesting to see where Bush’s Caring Campaign will go next.

Hey Mark,

Maybe you missed this and maybe you should read it. You and T Moore need to get a reality check. I actually handed handed out flyers before the war that said "Free Iraq" "End Saddam’s Tyranny." and others like "Bring Freedom to Iraq". I did this for several organizations in my hometown. The point is that there were other reasons for going to war illustrated in his speech AND illustrated by the common person.

"...," we keep going over this same issue, but I’ll try once more. Yes, Bush mentioned more than ONE reason for going to war. But what was the PRIMARY reason? The reason that the American people really cared about? You can act like you were crying yourself to sleep every night about the atrocities in Iraq, but then how do you explain away our apathy toward every other country in which genocide and torture occur? Why don’t we invade those countries? I realize that I’m not making any points that haven’t been made before, but as long as people keep swallowing this idea that we went marching into Iraq to spread freedom, these points have to be made over and over again.

Also, just because YOU were handing out fliers doesn’t really mean much. Unless you represent the Bush administration, your actions don’t speak for them. I could have (and did!) passed out pamphlets urging the invasion of Iraq for the purpose of building a new Disney park there, but that still wouldn’t mean it was one of our reasons for going to war.

Hiya "..." (Is that you, Marc S. Lamb? ;) ),

Ok, I don’t know how many others here have read Bush’s UN speech that you boldly linked to in comment 12, and all but dared us to read, but I did. A short, boring and not terribly challenging read.

You said, "What I think is interesting is that most of the speech is not about WMD’s." After skimming through it (I had heard and watched this speech soon after it was given, after all), I began to doubt your claim. So what I did is I went through his speech and I’ve categorized every paragraph by topic. Now, I don’t claim this to be hyper-scientific. I didn’t do word counts or computer analysis; I simply read the paragraphs and determined what they were primarily about. Several paragraphs dealt fairly evenly with two topics, so I divided them between the two topics, giving each topic half of a paragraph in "points." And 2 paragraphs were kind of all-purpose and general, so I simply called these "potpourri." My reading comprehension skills have tested quite well, so I’m confident that any objective analysis would find my dissection fairly accurate. By paragraph, here’s the count, by topic (1 paragraph equals 1 point, and I note when any points result from shared paragraph purposes, i.e. 3 shared paras. = 1.5 pts.) :

9/11, terrorism and the fight against global terror - 4.5 (1 shared para.)

History and purpose of the UN Sec. Council - 1.5 (1 shared para.)

Aid for poverty and disease - 2.5 (1 shared para.)

The U.S. return to UNESCO - 1

The Arab-Israeli conflict - 1

Weapons of Mass Destruction - 12.5 (3 shared paras.)

Iraq as the aggressive threat that the UN was born to confront - 1

UN stopped Saddam after his Kuwait invasion - 1

Iraq’s post-Kuwait UN commitments and Saddam’s "contempt for the UN" - 2

The systematic repression of minorities in Iraq - 2

Iraqi violations of human rights, citing the UN Commission on Human Rights - 1

The release of Kuwaiti and other prisoners from Iraq - 2

Helping Iraq to "build a government that represents all Iraqis" - 1 (2 shared paras.)

Potpourri (general, multi-topic) - 2

Saddam’s previous attacks of Iran & Kuwait - 1

What the UN response to the Iraqi threat needs to be - 3

Now, again, looking at "..."’s claim that "most of the speech is not about WMDs," I find that pretty dubious. If we add up all the paragraphs (from the White House-provided transcript) and COMBINE a variety of distinct topics into "topics not directly related to WMDs," Bush committed 26.5 paragraphs to subjects not directly related to WMDs, versus 12.5 to WMDs. Thus, he gave "only" 32% of his speech to WMDs, and the remainder to "all of the other subjects." However, I think a more honest assessment would be one that acknowledges that he gave 12.5 paragraphs to discussing the grave threat of WMDs, and the next most-discussed topic was, hey, "9/11, terrorism, and the fight against global terror," with 4.5 paragraphs. Nothing else in Bush’s address to the UN even came CLOSE to getting the emphasis that he put on those Weapons of Mass Destruction. Anyway, to cut to the chase, I think it’s either flat-out wrong or, to be charitable, disingenuous, to say, regarding Bush’s UN speech (the one that you linked to), that "most of the speech was not about WMDs." Actually, it was mostly about the WMDs.

I am most certainly not Marc S. Lamb

So, that’s the extent of your response?? That you’re not Marc S. Lamb? Ok, fine, but what of the rest of it?

Do you mean that you proved my the the majority of the speech was not about wmd’s.

Oh, so I see you’re taking the disingenuous approach. 277% more attention was lavished on the WMDs issue than the next most-addressed topic in the speech. Oh yeah, ..., in addition to making the ridiculously absurd claim that I proved your original point, why don’t you also claim that I found a gigantic bunker filled with nuclear missiles under Baghdad, too? Go whole-hog with this thing!!

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