James Webb, in his debate yesterday with Sen. George Allen, boasted at one point, apropos his opposition to invading Iraq: “I wrote a piece for The Washington Post six months before we went into Iraq, laying out in my view this was not about WMDs, it was about our troops being turned into terrorist targets, and that there was not an exit strategy because the people in this administration who were doing this did not intend to leave.”
So I found the piece in question, “Heading for Trouble; Do we really want to occupy Iraq for the next 30 years?” which ran in the September 4, 2002 edition of the Washington Post. As its title suggests, the op-ed made perfectly defensible arguments:
The issue before us is not simply whether the United States should end the regime of Saddam Hussein, but whether we as a nation are prepared to physically occupy territory in the Middle East for the next 30 to 50 years. Those who are pushing for a unilateral war in Iraq know full well that there is no exit strategy if we invade and stay.
Also in the piece Webb criticized the neoconservatives, made some deft observations regarding MacArthur’s success in Japan (“In Japan, American occupation forces quickly became 50,000 friends. In Iraq, they would quickly become 50,000 terrorist targets”), and warned that China, which he clearly suggested is America’s greatest menace, would enjoy a “glorious windfall” thanks to an “American military consumed for the next generation by the turmoil of the Middle East.”
But nowhere — nowhere — in the op-ed did he utter a word about Saddam’s WMDs, let alone cast doubt as to their existence. So why the clumsy lie yesterday?
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online