THE CORRY WARS
Re: John Corry’s A Historic Blunder:
For many years I have with fondness and interest read The American Spectator, and John Corry’s Presswatch column in particular. I write this cautionary note with utmost friendliness to Mr. Corry, re his piece of 21 July 2003 (excellent, as usual). He concedes rather more than is necessary, I think, in saying we have no proof that “Iraq was working hand in glove with Al Qaeda” or that “none (of Iraq’s WMD) has been found”.
I’ve seen pieces on the Weekly Standard‘s website over the past couple of months that suggest just the opposite. A WS writer noted that the New York Times itself ran an anti-U.S. story that blamed us for Iraqis having poisoned themselves with radiation. Seems that civilians had entered a nuclear site and swiped drums to use for water storage. The takers dumped out the uranium (!) the drums contained. The story opined (I don’t recall if that was the Times or the Standard) that the uranium discovered would have by itself provided more than sufficient material to produce radioactive (or “dirty”) bombs for detonation. No WMD?
Likewise, the Standard has at least twice run stories about a Baghdad newspaper’s naming an Iraqi intelligence officer assigned to liase with Osama bin Laden. This publication occurred in 2002, as I recall, long after 11 Sep 01. As the paper was run by one of Saddam Hussein’s sons for Saddam’s benefit (and his version of the truth), may we not take Hussein’s interest in bin Laden’s work as a given? If Great Britain could go to war over seaman Jenkins’ ear being sliced off, I should think that Iraq’s own admission of official connection to Al Qaeda and possession of terrorist training grounds (e.g. Salman Pak) gives us sufficient causa bellum. The esteemed Senator Levin ought to be asked the question: what provocation he thinks we would need to go to war. He seems to believe that hijacked airliners, thousands of citizens dead, and direct attacks on our national command authorities don’t make the cut.
Please accept this letter as encouragement from an engaged reader, not meaning in any way to be picky or combative. Keep fighting the good fight of faith for truth in our public press.
— David James Hanson
John Corry’s “A Historic Blunder” is historic blather. He wrings his hands about the “deteriorating situation” in Iraq that the unthinking ideologues in the Bush administration have gotten us into. The problem is, things aren’t deteriorating. Security is improving, basic services are largely restored, the establishment of a new Iraqi government is moving forward. Yes, there are still some old regime holdouts shooting at us, but the fact that they are inflicting one or two more casualties a week than they were a few weeks ago doesn’t constitute a “deteriorating situation.” The only “deterioration” going on is in the stateside PR war, thanks largely to the-sky-is-falling journalists like Corry, and the mainstream press that headline the news of every solitary military death with “CASUALTIES CONTINUE TO MOUNT.”
Corry misrepresents the past, as well as the present. He says that the “insular conservative journalists” and administration “ideologues” are changing their tune when they say “the U.S. is in Iraq for the long haul.” From the beginning, the Bush administration has been quite clear that part of “regime change” was going to be helping the Iraqi’s create a new democratic government. Did Corry think that meant a commitment of four months?
Corry has ridiculed “insular conservatives” for promoting the vision of a new democratic Iraq giving impetus for a freer, more modern, more prosperous, and less terror-ridden Middle East. But how can he argue that people with this vision did not foresee a long-term U.S. commitment in Iraq? His burning desire to call the Iraq war a failure seems to override his ability to represent the positions of his ideological opponents correctly.
Finally, Corry states that administration figures “seem to be modifying, or even reversing, their old positions” in proclaiming that the reason behind going to war in Iraq — or, more correctly, the WMD portion of the reason behind going to war in Iraq — was not based on “dramatic new evidence.” Apparently, the insular Mr. Corry wasn’t listening very carefully in the months leading up to the war. The heart of the WMD argument was, and always has been, the unaccounted for stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons that the UN and world intelligence organizations knew Iraq had when UN inspectors left the country in 1998.
It is Corry, not “insular conservative journalists,” whose grasp on reality is shaky.
— Brandon Crocker
San Diego, CA
Corry’s article was perhaps rejected by the New York Times first?
I mean really — it trots out the same tired arguments dolts like Graham and Daschle have been blathering about for six months now.
The single question Mr. Corry should ponder is why, if there are no WMDs, Saddam chose to go down rather than open his country to prove he didn’t have them.
A pox on Mr. Corry. Fortunately a stinker or two every so often does not mar your otherwise fine political coverage.
Mr. Corry’s article on the continuing Iraq flap has some substance but it really misses the point of the whole thing. The point being that Saddam had to be removed because he posed a threat to the entire region there, more so than his fellow gangsters in Afghanistan, and his partner in crime Bin Laden. He also posed a serious threat to this nation due to the fact that our current environmental laws have made us very dependent on that region’s oil. There are other factors also but the aforementioned ones will suffice for now.
Now to the point on whether Bush outright lied or was merely mistaken. In light of the situation, that is really a moot question and I think the American people will see it that way also. The biggest liar we’ve seen on foreign policy was the former President Clinton and the one with the thinnest excuses. It was because of that person’s ineptitude that we were forced into a war with a radical mindset. Bush has stepped up to the issue and shown considerable leadership in doing so. There is not a Demoncratic contender out there who can even come close to the job Bush has done to protect our nation.
Finally, yes, this war is costing American lives on a daily basis, as war will do. However, we must balance that with how many lives are being saved because we removed a major threat to our nation. All we have to do is look at that place called Ground Zero to see that the course we are on is the right one. Hindsight may be 20-20 but it’s also after the fact. Enough said. God Bless the USA and our troops.
— Pete Chagnon
Yes, but… There may be potent issues, but aren’t the Dems taking some major risks? No Dem knows the truth (and couldn’t admit it if he did). President Bush probably does, at least part of it. The Dems have to gamble that over the next 15 months, the President won’t trot out, what, Osama in shackles, Saddam in shackles, Syrian-provided proof of big time WMD, Saudi complicity, Israeli intelligence, proof of Al Qaeda intervention, or proof of Clinton’s involvement with one or more of these? The Dems are acting out of pure spite and obstructionism, desperate to come up with something. And, they have underestimated the Bush team time and again. I see nothing potent in that.
Corry writes “On the eve of the Iraqi invasion, President Bush warned the U.N. that unless it went along with U.S. proposals it risked fading ‘into history as an ineffective, irrelevant debating society.’ But that was then, and the insular ideologues have now discovered that we may need the rest of the world, after all.”
Contrary to Corry’s misleading tone, Bush was not saying the U.N. had to take orders from the U.S. or be irrelevant, but that it had to do something real or risk irrelevancy. The U.N. was being worse than useless by having a cynical, fake joke of an arms control process for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, giving the illusion of doing something while leaving Saddam and company the time, space, money, and connections needed to quietly make WMD progress. And Bush was not saying “we don’t need the rest of the world”; on the contrary he succeeded in uniting much of the world against Saddam’s arms (even Muslim nations!). Given the cynical self-dealing games of a few nations like China, Russia, France, and Germany, he was forced to act without them; but he had the consent and moral support of many “new European” and other nations too small to provide real military support. Bush was if anything too polite in failing to confront the venality of the old guard directly.
Bush did not “make a mess” of foreign policy, as Corry disingenuously asserts. The mess was clearly already there: cynical fake international arms control regimes concealing the growing threat, the grotesque neglect of intelligence and defense in pursuit of domestic political gain. The riskiness of the action Bush took was made necessary by the fecklessness of the previous non-policy.
This chattering over particular individual intelligence leads is just plain bizarre, given the totality of the picture. Did Saddam have the burning desire to make mass murder weapons to wield against Israel, the U.S., his neighbors, and even Iraqis? Yes. Did he have the money? Yes. Did he have enough science and engineering talent to at least shop intelligently? Yes. Did he have useful connections, consultants, and precursor suppliers in France, Germany, and Russia? Yes. Was the fake arms-control regime foisted on the world by France, Germany, and Russia through the U.N. giving Saddam the time and space needed to proceed, at least quietly and cautiously? Yes. Is a toe-hold of democracy or at least rule of law in the Arab/Persian Mideast absolutely necessary if there is to be peace and stability in the region, and some resistance to world-wide state-sponsored terrorism? Yes. Given the totality of the trend, is there any doubt that the world would eventually face far worse danger had Bush failed to act? No.
Is the Bush policy sure to succeed? No. It’s a fifty-fifty proposition. But it’s better than doing nothing, and doing nothing would have been a damn sight better than the previous policy of covering up the problem. The political gaming of Democrats — trying to profit from adversity — is one kind of threat to sensible policy and the safety of the public. Another kind is the self-justification of columnists trying to make the Administration look bad by misstating their positions.
— Eric Richter
Grand Rapids, MI
OK, so you are an isolationist. But wasn’t the U.S. — or somebody –obligated to act against Hussein after his violation of the U.N. cease-fire? Didn’t it behoove the US — or somebody — especially after 9/11 to figure out what happened to the unaccounted-for WMD components?
I mean, what do you think about Iran? They certainly have terrorists, and they certainly have the WMD. But the case we would make to invade Iran right now is not totally different than Iraq. We would cite the programs and the terror. We certainly couldn’t cite Iran’s non-compliance with the rest of the world–they are actually not in violation of the NPT.
I fail to see how this is a historic blunder. It will be according to the Left, because President Bush could cure cancer and give the remedy to the world for free, and it would be a ‘historic blunder.’ But we had a reason to invade Iraq, even if you don’t care to see it.
Also, we don’t need the UN at all. But the media, and that includes you, have created a perception that this is one big [screw]-up, when it isn’t, and that we can’t handle the cost, which we can. In that, you’re not much better than some of our soldiers who, after volunteering, were told, many times that this would take awhile. Instead, they’re ready to throw in the towel after 4 months, 200 soldiers dead, and a cost that the President was never secretive about (even if his guess about it was wrong).
You should be ashamed of yourself.
— James Yerian
Mistakes and faulty information are surely nothing new in the history of war, politics and international relations. And that’s not the real question anyway.
Iraq is a test of whether we are fit to survive as a world power. If we hang on and build a nation out of the bitter, crazed, bloodstained ruins of Saddam’s regime, then we are. We will have shown the world we are worthy of the values we claim to cherish. But if we chicken out and call on the Useless Nations to bail us out, then we ain’t.
American now faces the choice: do we, the people, have the guts and fortitude to support a program of rebuilding rogue, savage nations, or will we turn to easy excuses and sweet words to absolve ourselves from the responsibility of what happens if we don’t?
— Martin Owens
I hope Bush doesn’t go to the U.N. with hat in hand or any other way. The U.N. is corrupt beyond fixing. Bush should ignore the bashing and forge ahead doing what he knows is right, and the conservative media should stop carping immediately and support him.
The alternative is Hillary in the White House.
Flagler Beach, FL
Re: The Washington Prowler’s Graham’s Cracks:
Seems like almost every time I turn around I am reading or hearing about “the White House” fussing because the Republicans in the House and Senate are not going to war over the anti-Bush propaganda of the Democrats, the media, and the liberal interest groups.
I would ask this one question, why should the Republicans on Capitol Hill fight the war for the Commander-in-Chief who refuses to engage with the enemy. Bush persists in making nice with his enemies and “dissing” his base, such as Rep. Tancredo, Rep. Paul, Sen. [Lindsey] Graham, Gingrich, Malkin, Mowbray, Lowry, and on and on. Instead he hugs Daschle, has Kennedy over for movies, invites the Chair of the Congressional Black Conference for a White House briefing, and generally goes about his “Can’t we all just get along.” campaign.
It is past time for Bush and Merlin, oops I mean Karl Rove, to get their own hands dirty doing some of the work defending against the Dems. themselves. Hey, Bush, ever heard of a veto? Hey, Bush, ever heard of a Bully Pulpit?
— Ken Shreve
Graham, who says Bush should be impeached for lying when Bush has told the truth, should be censured for lying about Bush and for leaking classified info. When will someone say so? When will Republicans apply counterforce against the Psycho Demos’ rhetorical terror tactics?
— Eric in Denver
I was reading Strangers on the ‘Net by Francis X. Rocca and I think it was the worst opinion piece on censorship I have ever read. In this day and age I do not believe we should be concerned about our children seeing breasts on a computer screen (50% of our children will have them one day) or walking off to Paris with a stranger. I believe if a parent doesn’t notice his or her child has walked out the door towards Paris the problem lies there. The real censorship or “un-censorship” should be directed at television. All we see on TV these days is murder after murder in an urban setting. By un-censorship I mean that we should show where the real murders are taking place. The Middle East isn’t being torn apart by Internet surfing child molesters but by us.
— Rob Secker
Re: Reid Collins’ Links That Blind:
Sorry, but put me down for one dissenting vote to Reid Collins criticism of links style golf. I like it; but then I like walking and carrying my own bag, even in the scorching Texas summers. I believe the word is “traditionalist.”
— Ron Kurtz
THE AIR UP THERE
Re: “Out of Bounds” in Wlady’s Corner:
Apparently Kobe’s wife is the air he breathes except in Colorado, where the air is thin, and you can easily become disoriented and wind up breathing air that is not your wife’s, or even anyone you know.
— Mike Webster
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