Thursday, November 17, 2005

Iraq and the Truth

The Administration is continuing their push-back against the charges that they manipulated and misrepresented intelligence and their intentions in the run-up to the war in Iraq. (Note the double aliteration in that sentence? Pretty snappy, huh?)

Last night, Vice-President Cheney responded to the charges of dishonesty by essentially saying to his critics, "I know you are, but what about me?" I imagine a few people will find this persuasive.

I have largely stayed away from the issue of Iraq on this blog. While I comment on things that have a political dimension, there is usually a humanitarian angle (hurricanes, Darfur, torture) and my focus is on how Christian leaders are or are not responding and how they are advising the Administration.

But here are two pieces that I think are worth reading as our country begins to examine the truthfulness of our President. The first is an article from the Knight-Ridder media group, In Challenging the War's Critics, Administration Tinkers with Truth. Read this carefully and I think you will find that the writers have judiciously evaluated the President's assertions against the known facts and found them wanting.

Second is a hypothetical speech from Edward at Obsidian Wings, The Case for War (sans Smoke and Mirrors) which is what the President could have said if he had been willing to be a little fairer with the facts. Edward sets out to answer this question: "If the administration had made the case for war without any exaggeration, what would they have had at their disposal to convince the nation to back an invasion?" I wish we had leaders who spoke to us like this.

Go read both, and then keep these articles in mind as you listen to Bush, Cheney, Hadley and their surrogates continue their push-back. You can keep other things in mind if you like as well, like the facts that Bill Clinton committed adultery, that Michael Moore is fat, that al-Qaida are really bad, that the President prays with his wife, that Saddam was really bad, that in politics people often twist things, but the current question our country is establishing the facts of how we were led to go to war, so don't lose sight of the facts.

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