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Thursday, September 27, 2007


Tim Russert and the Democratic debate

I'll start with the unexpected kudos. I can't stand Tim Russert, but I'll give him credit for doing a good job of exposing the "antiwar" Democrats for the "continue the war but pretend you don't want to" people they really are. "We'll just keep some troops there for counter-terrorist actions"? That means all the troops, because every single Iraqi killed by U.S. troops is labeled a "terrorist." Bottom line - when you can't commit to having all U.S. troops out six years from now, you aren't against the war and occupation.

Now for the crap. I'll leave out the standard Russert "gotcha" questions, and the less said about the inane "what's your favorite Bible verse" the better. No, what really pissed me off was the old torture question - "We get the #3 guy in al Qaeda, we know there's a big bomb going off in America in three days, and we know this guy knows where it is. Don't we have the right and the responsibility to beat it out of him?" All the candidates assured us they wouldn't sanction torture (although one wonders how many would change their position if the conventional wisdom was that torture does work). But not one of them challenged the ludicrous premise of the question. How do you "know" there's a big bomb going off in America in three days? Did al Qaeda publish an ad in the New York Times informing us of that? And how do you "know" that this guy knows where it is? How do you even know he's "the #3 guy in al Qaeda" for that matter?

The point is, this is precisely the kind of "knowing" things that helped justify the war against Iraq in the first place ("We 'know' they have weapons of mass destruction"). It's precisely the kind of "knowing" that is pointing the way to an attack on Iran ("We 'know' they are developing nuclear weapons).

Want to save lives the sure way, no torture required? Get the hell out of Iraq!

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