Monday, March 13, 2006

To Andrew Sullivan

I'm not trying to attack you. I agree with a lot of your opinions and I have a high regard for your willingness to admit mistakes. But you seem to be allowing this "no one could have predicted the lack of WMDs" argument to distract you from our current situation in Iraq.

You seem quite happy to point out that "before the war, no one could prove there were no WMDs".

Putting the onus on anti-invasion arguments to prove a negative was a brilliant rhetorical sucess for the administration.

Your argument implies that since no one could prove there were no WMDs prior to invasion, no one could have predicted we wouldn't find them.

Pro-WMD evidence was just as flimsy as the "evidence" of a Saddam/Al Queda link. Many people interpreted the Ron Popeil hard-sell for invasion as an indication that something else was afoot. Many also suspected that WMDs were a misdirection towards the larger red hering that was Iraq. How did invading Iraq bring us immediately closer to our main goal: the capture of Bin Laden?

Those that dared voice these concerns were attacked as anti-American -- denunciation of skepticism being another indicator of an argument's intellectual dubiousness. Joseph Wilson's case shows that these vicious attacks were vetted and supported by the administration just as surely and ruthlessly as torture is abided today.

The WMD evidence was insufficient to justify invasion. It was then and remains so now.

Since no one could prove there were no WMD in Iraq, you seem to be using this "failure" to somehow justify continuing the current course in Iraq.

Iraq was a long shot but winning was possible. Due to many factors, including the gross incompetence with which the affair was and continues to be handled, it is all but certainly now doomed to failure.

You are now in a position similar to when you supported the invasion. You are allowing your desire for a certain end to cloud your judgement of evidence. Things are not going well in Iraq and no amount of "well, its not a civil war *yet*" will cause things to improve.

To win, the administration must

1) Measure the current situation
2) admit there are problems
3) determine what those problems are
4) create solutions
5) implement them.

Unfortunately the adminstration has no history of 1or 2, let alone any of the rest.

You see the evidence against your current conclusion ( but you just can't let go of the hope that a miracle may be in the future. God helps those who help themselves. The administration's ineptitude is hurting any chance of success.

After the end is known and the administration continues to blame the media for the failure, will you then state that no one could have known we would fail?

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