2008/01/30

Answer to D'Souza's defense of Bush's 935 lies

Dinesh D'Souza presents an, uh, interesting defense of Bush against the charge that he and several other members of his administration told 935 lies in the run-up to the Iraq War. D'Souza presents the words of "liberals on campus" who "typically say"

Well, we're not saying that Bush knew for sure that there were no such weapons [of mass destruction]. We are saying that his administration stacked the data.

D'Souza then goes on to manfully and heroically blow this straw man away (And I've certainly heard "stacked the deck," but never "stacked the data." That's a new one on me). The question that this statement allegedly answers is:

If Bush actually knew that Iraq didn't possess weapons of mass destruction, and yet repeatedly told the American people that Iraq had them, didn't Bush expect that following the Iraq invasion his deception would be found out?

My answer to that would have been to recall the old statement: "Victory has a hundred fathers, but defeat is an orphan." The "victory" in this case was the one celebrated by President Bush on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. Had the Iraq insurgency not reared up, had Iraq been peaceful instead of turning into a full-fledged guerrilla war, there's no reason for Bush to have expected any negative consequences for his lies.

Such a belief would have had a sound foundation in historical reality. In 1846, President James K Polk launched the invasion of Mexico and the US ended up swallowing 40% of Mexico's territory. People including the young Congressman Abraham Lincoln condemned the invasion, but his condemnation proved to be unpopular and it was used against Lincoln all the way into his presidency. The Whig Party did not follow Lincoln in condemning the war and instead nominated the American commander, General Zachary Taylor, to be its candidate for 1848.

So certainly, Bush probably knew that he'd be eventually found out, but the very high likelihood is that all would have been forgiven if only the war hadn't turned into such a complete c*f*.

No comments: