JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS

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Monday, September 23, 2002
 
What changed his mind?

Right before he was elected, on August 27, 2000, on "Meet the Press," Dick Cheney said: "In the meantime, I think we want to maintain our current posture vis-a-vis Iraq. And we want to see to it that we keep the coalition in force, we maintain the sanctions that are currently on and can keep the pressure on. And hopefully, there'll be a change to the government of Iraq before too long."

But, today, if you advocate for that position now, meaning if you advocate for the coalition... if you advocate for sanctions... if you advocate for keeping this pressure on, you'll be called, well, lots of names (vid. many blogs, like Andrew Sullivan's, and what they've been calling the New York Times).

I think Jay Mazumdar (yeah, we're related) is right on target. None of us, even us on the so-called left, like Saddam. We don't think he should be in power, either. We just want to know what changed Cheney's and the rest of their's minds. None of us (well, perhaps some of us) are cynical enough to think that, without all this war talk, the administration would be currently be forced to discuss the economy and executive (including their executive) excess, and the administration does not want to do this. Most of us would simply like to know what's going on; we don't want to be like all those Americans in 1917 who voted for President Wilson, who in 1916 had campaigned that he'd keep us out of the war but within six months had gotten us into the war, with Ashcroft at our door if we noted the inconsistency. (Woops! I didn't mean Ashcroft, I meant Palmer.) (And, please don't reply "9/11" as the cause; Maureen Dowd has written quite correctly "The administration isn't targeting Iraq because of 9/11. It's exploiting 9/11 to target Iraq.")

Jay wrote: "The problem is with the cynical way the Bush administration has foisted war onto an unsuspecting populace. There was no mention of war during the last presidential campaign; there was no mention of Iraq when the neo-cons were beating the war drums against China after the spy plane incident. Indeed, there was no mention of war against Iraq until Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld announced its inevitability, leaving the rest of us wondering whether we had missed something important. The problem isn't with overthrowing Iraq. It's with the chikenhawks who think the decision is their's and their's alone to make."

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