Wednesday, December 07, 2005

An Iraq-9/11 Fallacy

I'm not a trained rhetorician, but I can still spot a blatant crime against logic when I see one.

Here's a pretty common line of "reasoning" popular in some sectors of the Rush Limbaughian hyper-right and beyond:
The war in Iraq is integrally related to the larger War on Terror, the justification for which was the 9/11 attacks. George Bush is pretty awesome because, unlike Bill Clinton, who preferred to spend his time smoking dope, hugging trees and performing abortions on demand, our valiant Commander in Chief was actually willing to do something about Saddam Hussein.
Sound familiar? If not, you haven't been listening to AM radio. The only problem is that this argument has a hole in it wide enough for the SS Condoleezza Rice to sail through.

If the justification for taking Saddam out of the picture was 9/11, then there's no way Clinton should have launched his own attack since 9/11 didn't happen until after he was out of office. Even a small child could grasp that. If people insist on the Iraq-9/11 connection, they can't hold Clinton responsible for his (relative) inaction. If they still do so, it's as much as admitting that their justification for war is a load of crap.

Interestingly enough, the line that Clinton should have acted because of the WMD threat doesn't hold water either since, hindsight being 20/20 (or close enough), there weren't any WMDs anyway. Unless these people believe that Clinton should have started a war based on faulty intelligence (and who would want that?), they're out of luck.

If the right wants to dump on Clinton, they should pursue the Osama angle instead. It's certainly true that Clinton didn't do enough to go after Bin Laden and Al Qaeda. For some strange reason, though, certain members of the Republican Party aren't too keen on bringing up the failure to capture Bin Laden. I guess it hits a bit too close to home.
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