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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Richard Cohen's Column, More than Mistakes

Revisionist History was my favorite class in high school, and evidently Richard Cohen from the Washington Post was the guy who taught my teacher how it works. According to his column today "More than a Mistake on Iraq" the only people in the universe who felt there could be weapons of mass destruction in Iraq were in the Bush Administration.
The truth, though, if he cares to click on the picture at the left, is that Bill Clinton and a number of other folks felt the same way in 1998. In fact one of the people he eloquently defends for his "mistake of a vote", John Kerry, in the late 1990's was willing to go to war over them.

Now, while Mr. Cohen does question why some Democrats voted for the war, and now call it a mistake, he's got some basic facts wrong. He claims the uranium from Niger and other parts of the administrations case were under doubt. That particular case the doubt came from Joe Wilson, who's own senate testimony should put his word at doubt, and the fact that two European intelligence agencies still stand behind their information (Italy and Britain).

He also points out that the UN had not found anything during it's inspections, and it "was clear" there were no nuclear weapons. Maybe Richard should read the UN report instead, which Blix says more time is needed to be sure, and that "to date" there hadn't been anything found. To Date and Was Clear are very different things. But, as I pointed out with Mr. Meyerson at the Post a few days ago, it really doesn't matter if you have the facts right when you are opinion columnist. (That applies to opinion bloggers, too)

The final question to Mr. Cohen though, has to be "Would Iraq be better off with Saddam Hussein in charge right now?" Because if the answer is NO, then the war wasn't a mistake, no matter how much you hate George Bush. If the answer is yes, then he should join Ramsey Clark on the defense team for Saddam.

Trackback at Don Surber, who has a good post on reform in gov't under Bush. The Debate at Wapo has a running dialog on this also, and Confederate Yankee has a great dissection of facts on the matter.


Blogger dave in boca said...

I agree that Cohen's descent into senectitude increases at an alarming rate. I have a post today which comments on how rapidly the columnists at WaPo are beginning to degenerate into self-contradictory rants.

Eg: Cohen says that by March 20th it was QUITE CLEAR that Iraq had no nuclear weapons program.


Because all the evidence for such a program had been CHALLENGED.

So, of course, the burden of proof should fall on the US? Because we didn't have a smoking gun? To give the benefit of the doubt to a fellow who was building Osirak in 1981 to produce a nuke before the Israelis relieved the world of this program?

Cohen has simply gone around the bend and is himself a "braying exaggerator" who is consumed with hatred of the Bush Administration.

Thank God the WaPo has Woodward, who gives this broadsheet a fig-leaf of integrity. [check a blog I penned today about Woodward's auto da fe]

12:52 PM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

The Post is only slightly better than the NY Times when it comes to political coverage. They have a tendency to "gloss over" democratic indiscretions, though on June 5th they did point out that Harry Reid, Tom Daschle, and Dick Gephardt all got money from Jack Abramoff.

6:55 PM  

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