In an editorial today entitled, "Iraq debate, White House defense," (link) an attempt is made to alter history. A really feeble attempt. And to try to draw painfully skewed conclusions from unrelated facts.
First, recent history:
REP. John Murtha, D-Pa., has done a wonderful thing. He has changed the climate of debate in Washington over the war in Iraq.How, you're wondering?
Because he is a decorated Vietnam vet and often a proponent of military action, Murtha has the credentials to criticize. Freshman Rep. Jean Schmidt tried to paint the old soldier as a coward and was quickly slapped down. Now both President Bush and Vice President Cheney have declared that opposing the war is not an act of disloyalty.How has Murtha's military resume altered "the climate of debate" in Washington? It hasn't. Unless you think John Kerry's resume (he drove a boat for the government 40 years ago) "changed the climate of debate" in Washington as well. Not only did his resume fail to affect any climate conditions, it failed to even change his employment status.
Most would argue that the climate of debate hasn't changed at all. It's still as divisive as ever. Others would even argue that it's high time the climate of debate heated up - dramatically.
As for rewriting history, the people at the Gazette would have you believe the Democrats in Congress were duped into voting for the War on Terror.
Both Cheney and Bush have tried lamely to score points by saying that Democrats in Congress originally went along with their assessment of danger from Iraq, based on the same intelligence the administration used. That is demonstrably false. Members of Congress — including members of the Senate Intelligence Committee — are angry precisely because they were denied access to the same intelligence.Interesting defense: "We were useful idiots."
Then there's this:
The administration also contends that the Clinton White House agreed Saddam Hussein was a threat. That’s true — but Clinton and his colleagues concluded that the Iraq threat was adequately contained. Clinton did not launch a needless war.Uh, Clinton did launch a war, and it proved useful, even if it was halfhearted and - as was his wont - half-assed. And he started his war for the very same reasons and against the very same enemy as President Bush did in 2003. Because containment wasn't working. From CNN.com:
I'll bet the people at the Gazette find facts to be so annoying. If they could find them. If they knew what one looked like.
CLINTON: Good evening.
Earlier today, I ordered America's armed forces to strike military and security targets in Iraq. They are joined by British forces. Their mission is to attack Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs and its military capacity to threaten its neighbors.
Their purpose is to protect the national interest of the United States, and indeed the interests of people throughout the Middle East and around the world.
Saddam Hussein must not be allowed to threaten his neighbors or the world with nuclear arms, poison gas or biological weapons. (link)
There was a (brief) time when leftists sequestered in editorial board rooms around the country decided how history was going to be written. That day is gone. The modem and the weblog have seen to that. And just as history revisionism has seen its day, so has the reputation of the Charleston Gazette.