As you can see, I’ve made a few changes to my homepage, part of my never-ending quest to improve both its form and function (in other words, to make it both more efficient and more pretty).
The Washington Post’s Robert Kagan has an excellent rebuttal to the Bush-lied WMD theories. He reminds us of the uncontradicted evidence of illicit Iraqi weapons, then states:
As Blix reported to the Security Council, “in the absence of evidence to the contrary, we must assume that these quantities are now unaccounted for.”
Today, of course, they and many other known weapons are still unaccounted for. Does it follow, therefore, that they never existed? Or does it make more sense to conclude that the weapons were there and that either we’ll find them or we’ll find out what happened to them?
The answer depends on how broad and pervasive you like your conspiracies to be. Because if Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair are lying, they’re not alone. They’re part of a vast conspiratorial network of liars that includes U.N. weapons inspectors and reputable arms control experts both inside and outside government, both Republicans and Democrats.
According to Kagan, the list of liars would include Al Gore, Bill Clinton, Clinton-era CIA director John Deutch, Clinton-era defense secretary William Cohen, the German intelligence service, and French President Jacques Chirac, among others.
In a post here Friday afternoon, after listing the historic sports events that could happen on Saturday, I wrote:
Or, perhaps Clemens will fail to win #300 for a third straight time, the Mighty Ducks will beat the Devils to set up a decisive Game 7, and Funny Cide will become the fifth Triple Crown threat in seven years to be denied at Belmont Park.
Yup, that’s about right.
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UPDATE: It turns out my cell phone isn’t very good at picking up background noise. Oh, well.
Here are Jen and co. My $20 has magically become $0.25… but hey, the free drinks are nice. :) In other news, the Red Sox won! Yay!
Mighty Ducks lead, 1-0. Go, Anaheim, go!
I’m going to the Mohegan Sun casino with Jen and a couple of her friends, so don’t expect much more sports-blogging tonight.
Empire Maker wins the Belmont; Funny Cide finishes five lengths back in third place. More shortly.
UPDATE: Here’s an MP3 file (947 KB) of the stretch call by Dave Johnson, Mr. “Down The Stretch They Come,” on ABC Radio.
Here’s a photo of Empire Maker beating out Ten Most Wanted at the wire:
Every once in a while, a sporting event becomes legendary as much for its weather as for its result (think the “Ice Bowl”). Well, if Funny Cide wins the Triple Crown today and turns the 2003 Belmont into an Instant Classic, it may become known as the “Mud Derby.” That track is soaked!
Deciding last night not to go to Belmont Park may be the best choice I ever made. :) By now, I’d be cold and wet, my cameras might be ruined, and I wouldn’t be having any fun. Staying home and watching on TV is definitely looking like a good call!
UPDATE: Funny Cide lost. See my post above.
Time for a pre-emptive strike, lest some clever Vivier or Stern gore me on my own words:
Similarly, if U.S. troops were to discover that Iraq doesn’t have weapons of mass destruction after all, liberals would tear the Bush administration apart, and rightfully so, for leading us into war on false pretenses. (Brendan Loy, “Antiwar advocates make false claims,” Daily Trojan, March 31, 2003)
At the moment, I think it’s simply too soon to declare that U.S. troops have, in fact, discovered that Iraq doesn’t have (and didn’t have all along) weapons of mass destruction. There are still too many alternative explanations that have yet to be fully explored and proven one way or the other.
But if and when I become fully convinced that the WMDs really aren’t there, I will not eat my words; I will embrace them. If the president and his advisers knowingly lied to us, they should face the most serious consequences — I’d go so far as to agree with Dean that such “high crimes” would (or should) be impeachable. Or, if the administration unintentionally misled us because its intelligence was deeply flawed, a full investigation must take place, the responsible parties must be held accountable, and we must fix whatever enormous problems led us to such a vast miscalculation.
Now then, I do not guarantee that I will actually regret that the war occurred, regardless of what happens with the WMD search. It is logically quite possible to feel both of the following things simultaneously:
1) Bush Administration officials lied to the public by justifying the war primarily on the basis of fabricated evidence about Weapons of Mass Destruction, and should be held accountable for their lies; and
2) Other, previously unstated or downplayed justifications for war, while not retroactively justifying the administration’s deceitful methods of convincing the public that war was necessary, nevertheless make it a good thing that the war happened.
In other words, I can be disgusted with the Bush Administration’s lies (if they are proven to be lies), and demand that heads roll because of those lies, yet I can still be happy that the war happened because it is a good thing that Saddam’s brutal regime has been toppled. Those two positions are not logically inconsistent.
But, if I am to maintain my high ideals of honest government and steer clear of bald-faced Machiavellianism, my scorn for the Bush Administration’s lies (again, if they are proven to be lies) should not be lessened by my belief that the end result of those lies was positive. My outrage should, in theory, be just as acute. Of course, such a high level of personal outrage over something I don’t actually regret may be difficult to practice in reality. But in theory, it would be proper. The ends don’t justify the means; that would give the government far too much power.
Only time will tell how this plays out. It should certainly be interesting.
UPDATE: By the way, the second part of the above-quoted paragraph from my March 31 DT article is this:
Yet, if our soldiers eventually discover solid evidence of chemical and biological weapons that the U.N. inspections were unable to find, will liberals admit that they were wrong?
The verdict on that is still out, too.
Honestly, my own biases to the side, I think John Dean makes some good points in this article, recommended to me by both my anti-war mother and my pro-war father. The article catalogues many of Bush’s rather specific and authoritative statements about Iraqi WMD, and proceeds to ask the question, “Is lying about the reason for a war an impeachable offense?” It’s a flawed piece of writing, to be sure (see below), but it’s worth a look. An excerpt:
Frankly, I hope the WMDs are found, for it will end the matter. Clearly, the story of the missing WMDs is far from over. And it is too early, of course, to draw conclusions. But it is not too early to explore the relevant issues. …
[A]s Time magazine reported, the leads are running out. According to Time, the Marine general in charge explained that “[w]e’ve been to virtually every ammunition supply point between the Kuwaiti border and Baghdad,” and remarked flatly, “They’re simply not there.”
Perhaps most troubling, the president has failed to provide any explanation of how he could have made his very specific statements, yet now be unable to back them up with supporting evidence. Was there an Iraqi informant thought to be reliable, who turned out not to be? Were satellite photos innocently, if negligently misinterpreted? Or was his evidence not as solid as he led the world to believe?
The absence of any explanation for the gap between the statements and reality only increases the sense that the President’s misstatements may actually have been intentional lies.
It is truly unfortunate, however, that Dean chooses to cite not just one, but both of the “quotes” from the Paul Wolfowitz that have already been very publicly discredited and retracted. It’s ironic, too, considering he’s arguing that Bush led us into war on the basis of lies, that his article is partly built on a foundation of lies. Maybe Dean doesn’t realize that, but if so, the man needs to widen his sources of information. Read InstaPundit, John! It’s a good site, honest!
It also seems unwise, if Dean actually wanted to change people’s minds instead of just preaching to the antiwar choir, that he chooses to cite Paul Krugman, whose very name will turn off conservatives (for good reason, I’d say), and Maureen Dowd, who has already been exposed as a liar in her own right. That’s a bit like saying, “Bush lied — and I’ve got the article by Jayson Blair to prove it!”
However, Dean’s research failures and unwise editorial choices do not invalidate his valid substantive points. So, as they say, read the whole thing. I’d like to hear Andrew and Sean and Craig debate about this one. :)
UPDATE: InstaPundit says the misquotes of Wolfowitz “demonstrated a certain over-eagerness to believe the worst about people it doesn’t like on the basis of extremely weak evidence.” Funny how the Left and Right are actually accusing each other of the same thing.
Well, Sports Milestone #1 didn’t happen. What was Joe Torre thinking taking Roger Clemens out of the game in that situation? Anyway, Clemens won’t get his 300th win today… and he may yet get his 155th loss. (Although the Yankees are threatening to retake the lead — they’re down 3-1, but they’ve got the bases loaded with two outs in the eighth.)
On the bright side for Clemens, his next chance for #300 will be at Yankee Stadium. (If he fails in that attempt, his next opportunity would be at — get this — Shea Stadium against the Mets!)
On the bright side for me, the Cubs are winning, which is good for the Red Sox in the AL East! :) But they need to hold on…
Here is the latest on Hee Seop Choi’s fourth-inning injury.
UPDATE: 3-2 count, 2 outs, bases loaded. Get him out!
UPDATE: Giambi strikes out swinging! Woohoo! Go, Cubbies, go!
My sports-blogging on what Yahoo! Sports says could be “one of the most memorable days in sports history” continues above.