Friday, March 17, 2006

Revisiting THAT question again, groan

I can't tell you what brings less excitement than revisiting the question "Why did we go to war with Iraq." I fear the debate is so polarized, that the outcome is predetermined (Bush lied, of course.) I hear those two words utttered by the left in nearly every discussion of the Iraqi war. Even people who claim to be moderates, throw off those words as if they represented an indisputable fact. So it is with a bit of trepidation that I bring up the article River Rat mentioned in comments. One compelling piece of evidence outlined by Captain Ed of Captains Quarter's Blog :

Immediately after 9/11, the US suspected that al-Qaeda had masterminded the attacks, confirming it within days. Until the 20th, when Bush made his speech, the government had not clearly and publicly stated its position to the Taliban. However, the IIS reported four days after the fact that the Taliban believed the US had proof of cooperation between Iraq and Osama bin Laden to attack American targets. The Taliban went out of its way to warn Saddam that the US would retaliate against Iraq when we got the proof together. That explicitly shows cooperation between the two governments. Moreover, the same people who sheltered and sponsored Osama bin Laden turned immediately to Saddam after the attacks for coordination on their response. They would have had no reason to do so -- except knowing that Osama and Saddam had a working relationship in fostering terrorist attacks against America.

One needs only to read the comments to see how this new debate is headed.

A comment thread at Jeff's is even more illustrative of the trend. But the facts on the ground is that we are interpreting thousands of pieces of NEW information, and not every response can be BUSH LIED, pointing to stale op-ed pieces from the past few years as a counter argument. One faction of the American public has taken it to the point of religious conviction that there was no ties between Iraq and terror. One wonders if any amount of truth will cause them to even re-examine their "facts."

I worry, because there are many non-facts, fact stories that have simply taken on a life of their own. The Bush "fake Turkey" story. Matthew Shepard's murder. Certain narratives are just too tempting to discard, even though they've been disproved.