Thursday, September 11, 2003

Maureen Dowd lays into Dick Cheney:

We're Not Happy Campers


Far from being the swift and gratifying lesson in U.S. dominance that Cheney & Co. predicted, our incursion into Iraq is turning into a spun-out, scary lesson in the dangers of hubris. Democrats are combing through the $20 billion part of the White House request involving rebuilding Iraq, trying to make sure there isn't any Halliburton hanky-panky.

I've actually gotten to the point where I hope Dick Cheney is embroiled in a Clancyesque conspiracy to benefit Halliburton. Because if it's not a conspiracy, it's naïveté and ideology. And that means our leaders have used goofball logic and lousy assumptions to trap the country in a cockeyed replay of the Crusades that could drain our treasury and strain our military for generations, without making us any safer from terrorists and maybe putting us more at risk.

On 9/11's second anniversary, seven in 10 Americans still believe Saddam had a role in the attacks, even though there is no evidence of it, according to a Washington Post poll. That is because the president has done his level best to conflate 9/11 and Saddam and did so again in his speech on Sunday night.

Iraq never threatened U.S. security. Bush officials cynically attacked a villainous country because they knew it was easier than finding the real 9/11 villain, who had no country. And now they're hoist on their own canard.

As much as I may dislike Dowd for her Heather-like tendencies I have to admit that she is often very good at turning a phrase.

I also agree with her that it would be preferable to believe that the mess we have gotten into is more the result of corruption than incompetence. Corruption, at least, can have a predictable course to its actions. But incompetence often leads to chaotic responses as the parties involved become increasingly desperate in their attempts to hide their incompetence. At least the corrupt can sometimes be counted on to do the competent thing.


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