The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Monday, August 26, 2002  

Let’s Roll, Says William Kristol

Vice President Dick Cheney, he of the “secret location,” today called for a preemptive attack on Iraq, stating there is “no doubt” Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction and is preparing to use them against the U.S. and its allies, according to a late afternoon report from Dana Milbank of the Washington Post (“Cheney Argues for Preemptive Strike on Iraq”).

“The vice president’s remarks, to a Veterans of Foreign Wars meeting in Nashville, served as the Bush administration’s answer to criticism that it had failed to make its case for the removal of the Iraqi dictator,” writes Milbank. “Cheney’s detailed articulation of the menace posed by Hussein came after two prominent advisers to the first President Bush -- James Baker and Brent Scowcroft -- raised concerns about an American attack on Iraq without international support.”

(That’s odd. We though Lt. Gen. Scowcroft was also an adviser to the second President George Bush, chairing as he does, the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, which may or may not be comprised of Scowcroft and the 14 other individuals appointed to the board and named publicly by the second President Bush on Oct. 5, 2001. More recently, however, Scowcroft has decided the membership of the PFIAB should be a state secret, and the board’s web site states the panel is comprised of 16 members, one more than it did on Oct. 5, 2001.)

Says Vice President Cheney: “Some concede that Saddam is evil, power hungry, and a menace, but that until he crosses the threshold of actually possessing nuclear weapons, we should rule out any preemptive action. That logic seems to me to be deeply flawed.”

According to the vice president, in what strikes us as a bizarre non sequitur, waiting for Iraq to pose a more immediate threat would make it “even harder for us to gather friends and allies to oppose him.”

How’s that again? Wouldn’t an immediate threat scare the behoosis out of everyone, making the formation of a coalition against Hussein easier to establish and maintain? Talk about flawed logic.

Advocates of an attack on Iraq “interpreted Cheney's remarks, more forceful and detailed than any yet offered by a senior official, as a virtual battle cry,” reports Milbank.

Helpfully, Milbank turns to that most reliable of reliable sources when it comes to waging war, well, anywhere, William “Bill” Kristol (son of neoconservative movement founder Irving Kristol), the chicken-hawk publisher of the consistently unreadable Weekly Standard and former advisor to former Vice President Dan Quayle.

“The debate in the administration is over,” Kristol the Lesser triumphantly declared, gleefully adding, “The time for action grows near.”

Milbank’s article cites no one other than Kristol in reaction to the vice president’s speech. That’s the liberal media at work.

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