Patterico's Pontifications

5/30/2005

The 18½ Minute Gap

Filed under: International,Terrorism,War — Dafydd @ 6:07 pm

If you enjoy arguing with Democrats about the validity of the Iraq War (do you also like to dart in front of a bull wearing long, red, flannel underwear?), you will discover that every such discussion always ends the same way: because we didn’t find pyramids of carefully labeled nuclear missiles from the Acme WMD Warehouse, the whole war was a “complete fraud”… we had “no reason at all” for going into Iraq; consequently, the exercise was utterly “futile” and a “miserable failure.”

(And how did that bull get into red, flannel underwear in the first place?)

It does little good to point out what nobody now denies: that Hussein had many ongoing programs to develop such chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons; they just weren’t as advanced as we were afraid they were. Given how little intelligence we had about that secretive country, the choice was to trust in Saddam Hussein’s restraint and good judgment, or trust in the United States military. “You should have just waited a few more months,” the lib invariably intones; “maybe a year. Then we would have known for sure.”

In other words, they wanted us to wait until two minutes to midnight. Then we could have moved… unless it turned out our watch was slow.

But now we know that it was not just on WMD that the clock was ticking. As Claudia Rosett, George Russell, and others pointed out, the oil-for-fraud program was already starting to produce the nightmare scenario of terrorist groups with their own revenue streams, independent of individual donors and fundraisers. Articles written for Fox News and National Review Online revealed that at least one company linked to al-Qaeda was already involved in kickback schemes to make millions in profits from the U.N. program — money that would be directly available to fund al-Qaeda operations, now that Osama bin Laden’s personal fortune is long since spent. And it was not just al-Qaeda; several other terrorist organizations also wound up with oil leases, right under the noses of Benon Sevan, Executive Director of the Iraq Programme (Oil for Food), Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and his spawn-of-the-devil Kojo (or is that Cujo?)

Had we waited just a few more months — waited until two minutes before midnight — even more high officials in Security-Council governments would have been corrupted; it’s entirely possible that, in the end, even Britain would have bowed to international pressure and pulled out of the Operation Iraqi Freedom. Would we still have gone to war, then? I don’t think anyone can really say for sure.

So the Left is actually right, for a change: we miserably failed to wait until two minutes to midnight to strike against the tyrant. We struck at twenty till, instead. Maybe even twenty and a half minutes before the witching hour.

Which would make it the second time in history that an 18½ minute gap saved the presidency… and this time, possibly the entire Global War on Terrorism as well.

Teen Logic

Filed under: Judiciary,Law,Politics — Dafydd @ 1:04 am

Everything I know, I learned from the Brady Bunch.

In one episode, teenaged Greg is grounded from driving the car (because he was reading a record album cover while driving on the freeway… a strange coincidence, as I was watching the episode while driving on the same freeway). Later, his father, Mike, discovers he drove somewhere. “But you said I couldn’t drive the car,” Greg frantically explains; “our car. But I didn’t. I borrowed a friend’s car!”

Teen logic.

Teen logic is also the only thing that explains the glee with which Sen. Harry Reid (D-The Strip) exhorted his democratic colleagues, including the Seven Serpents, to filibuster judicial nominees Brett Kavanaugh and William Haynes, who haven’t even been vilified yet. Talk about getting ahead of yourself!

One imagines the dialog between Harry-Greg and Harry-Dad:

HD: Now Greg, you just gave your word you wouldn’t filibuster.

HG: No, my exact words were that I wouldn’t lead a filibuster except for “extraordinary circumstances.” I go by my exact words!

HD: What’s so extraordinary about Kavanaugh and Haynes?

HG: Well, I — I borrowed the car from — well, isn’t it extraordinary that a guy could steal the 2000 election, steal Ohio in 2004, and then turn around and nominate judges to the Circuit Court? I call that pretty extraordinary circumstances!

So now that we know what Sen. Reid meant by “extraordinary circumstances,” what would he think if a couple of the Seven Dwarfs — say Lindsay Graham and Mike DeWine — and maybe even the two “compromised” Democrats who turned him down (Ben Nelson and Mary Landrieu), were to decide that since he was breaking the spirit, if not the “exact words,” of the Memorandum of Misunderstanding, they would cross the aisle and vote for the constitutional option?

Somehow, I suspect he would argue as a few of the lawyerly types in Blogworld have: that the “agreement” they signed prohibits them from doing so, because it allowed each senator to decide for himself whether the circumstances were extraordinary.

HG: So, like, I can lead a filibuster if I decide myself that it’s extraordinary circumstances… but you can’t quit and vote for the nucular option because, like, you promised you wouldn’t, no matter what! Hah, burn!

Teen logic.

Well, that’s what you get for imagining any point of intersection between the real world and that strange Twilight Zone of “lawyer-space.” The reality is that any of the Gang of Fourteen, Republican or Democrat, can leave any time he wants… and the only people he would owe an explanation to are his constituents. None of whom hail from Nevada.

UPDATE FROM PATTERICO: Thanks to John Hinderaker for linking this post, and welcome to Power Line readers. As the comedians say, Dafydd is “here all week!” — along with a couple of other great guest bloggers: the Angry Clam and See Dubya. I hope everyone will continue to check back.

Magic 8-Ball: Media Critic

Filed under: Judiciary — Patterico @ 1:02 am

Does the New York Times know how to spell the name of Bush nominee Brett Kavanaugh?

My Sources Say No.

Angry Clam on Memeorandum

Filed under: Blogging Matters — Patterico @ 12:57 am

I think it’s his first appearance there. Too bad the excerpted quote contains no profanity.

Regional Bear Flag Roundup

Filed under: Blogging Matters — Patterico @ 12:54 am

Breaker has the links here.


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