Sunday, December 14, 2003

OK, the Big News:

Saddam was -- sure, I'll use the word -- evil. The capture is a good thing. I'm not going to be a knee-jerk contrarian and say, "It won't make a bit of difference" -- I think it really could help wind down the insurgency. I don't know that, but it seems quite possible.

But the news coverage has no perspective. We got here via 9/11, yet this has nothing to do with 9/11. It may be the right solution (or, rather, partial solution), but it's a solution to the wrong problem.

I don't know of any reporter or analyst who's touched on that. It's the most important fact, it should be pointed out over and over, yet it gets lost.

I haven't heard what all the Democratic candidates have said about the capture -- I've only heard Gephardt, who was on CNN this afternoon and handed Bush a big fat Christmas present by linking Saddam to 9/11 just the way Bush would have wanted him to. And Bush did it himself, subtly and deftly, in his football pregame show speech -- he dropped in the word "terrorists" about two-thirds of the way through ("We still face terrorists who would rather go on killing the innocent than accept the rise of liberty in the heart of the Middle East"), then moved on to "the war on terror."

This has nothing to do with the war on terror.

I don't even hear Dean say that often enough. Everyone who's opposed Bush with regard to this war has to say it -- this is good, but it has nothing to do with the people responsible for 9/11. Bush doesn't just link Iraq and 9/11 -- he does it every chance he gets. He never neglects to do it -- every statement on Iraq makes the link.

So every statement on Iraq by his would-be opponents has to stress the lack of a link. This is more important than ever.

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