Thursday, April 24, 2003

The snake bites hardest just before it dies.

JJ over on Table Talk gives a great example of how to respond to the kind of distortions Drudge is perpetrating against Dean: as to whether Dean questioned whether Iraqi's are better off without Saddam, he might say something like this: "I don't mind if they take my remarks and twist 'em around. Let's me know they're paying attention, as best they're able. "Also, gives me a chance to re-inforce the point I was making about the future of Iraq. Saddam's gone, and that's good, except maybe he isn't, and maybe many of his henchman aren't gone, either. It's turning out that we need administrators and police from his government to deal with the post-invasion chaos in major cities. "There are serious questions about who will run Iraq and for whose benefit. How will reconstruction be accomplished, and for whose benefit. How long will our presence be required there to keep peace, how long will it be tolerated there before it treatens peace. "We were well equipped to depose Saddam's regime, but are we well equipped to help a new regime develop that respects the rights of the various ethnicities and religions in Iraq, and as well the rights of women? "There are widespread suspicions about our motives for mounting this invasion, and I don't think Americans understand how much that's going to complicate developments in the country we believe we've liberated. "The fact that we allowed their museum to be looted and their library to be burned almost to the ground at the same time as we protected the Oil Ministry does not help the Iraqi's to develop trust for us. "For the Iraqi's to be clearly better off will depend a lot on whether America is seen to have done right and to be doing well there, and is so seen by the Iraqi's and others in that part of the world. "We can tell ourselves we did the right thing all we want. But we have to prove it to the people who live where our bombs have wrought destruction, and we have a long way to go before our case is made." I think the key is to not get distracted into a semantic quibble-match nor to appear apologetic because the other side chose to consciously misinterpret your remarks. And, most important of all, stick to your game plan. The more they attack you the better the indicator that you are drawing blood. The snake bites hardest just before it dies.

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