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OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM: THE RIGHT WAR ANYWAY
Yahoo /NY Post ^ | July 10, 2004 | NY Post Op/Ed

Posted on 07/10/2004 5:46:59 PM PDT by FairOpinion

President Bush (news - web sites) took a hard hit yester day when the Senate Intelligence Committee released its scathing re port on the CIA (news - web sites)'s erroneous pre- war assertions about Iraq (news - web sites)'s weap ons of mass destruction.

As he should have.

Bush is the commander-in-chief; the buck stops with him.

The CIA's assertions — that Iraq had stockpiles of banned weapons and was well on its way to making nukes — were wrong, the report said. Those claims were based on false or overstated analyses, it said. The committee's Republican chairman, Sen. Pat Roberts, termed the CIA conclusions "unreasonable" and "unsupportable."

And yesterday's report was unanimous: Both Republican and Democratic committee members approved it.

So, no doubt about it: The report deals a body blow to Bush's — and America's — credibility.

And when folks like Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a Democrat, say, as he did yesterday, that much of the Senate wouldn't have backed the war "if we knew what we now know," they may well be right.

At the same time, the 521-page tome offers no evidence of bad faith — by the president or the analysts. Indeed, in that respect it exonerates Bush & Co.

There is nothing to support claims that analysts were subjected to "politics or pressure," Roberts noted. "What [Bush] said was what he got" from the CIA.

"And what he got was wrong."

In the end, what the CIA — and Bush — may be guilty of is, at worst, an over abundance of caution.

In the wake of 9/11, that's understandable — and, frankly, commendable: Better to be too cautious than not cautious enough.

Intelligence-gathering is as much art as it is hard science. And it didn't help that America didn't even have spies in Iraq after 1998.

Certainly, Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)'s refusal to cooperate with U.N. inspectors muddied the intelligence waters.

Indeed, Saddam accepted hefty sanctions rather than provide proof that he was WMD-free. Why would he do that, a reasonable person might wonder, if he had no stocks of banned weapons?

At the end of the day, though, the WMD issue is essentially peripheral.

The question before Americans at the moment is this:

Was the war justified?

The answer is: Unequivocally yes.

The Rockefellers and John Kerrys of the world suggest that only a discovery of large WMD stockpiles would make it right to have ousted Saddam.

But among many other reasons were:

* Saddam had flouted 17 U.N. resolutions and the terms of the 1991 Gulf War (news - web sites) cease-fire. He repeatedly tried to shoot down U.S. warplanes in the no-fly zone. America would have been justified in resuming the Gulf War much earlier on that basis alone.

* Saddam had been a regional menace for 20 years, having instigated two wars. He continued to make threats against his neighbors even after the Gulf War. His ultimate goal: to dominate the region — and its output of oil.

This would have given him virtually unlimited resources for his evil projects.

* Saddam had provided safe haven for terrorists, including Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian Palestinian with ties to Osama bin Laden (news - web sites).

Zarqawi is said to be behind the murder of an American diplomat, Lawrence Foley, prior to the war. Today, he is believed responsible for numerous attacks and beheadings in Iraq.

* Saddam had reached out to and supported terror groups like Hamas and Hezbollah. He paid the families of suicide bombers $25,000 apiece.

* Saddam milked the Oil-for-Food program for at least $10 billion for his own use — apparently corrupting the United Nations (news - web sites) at the highest levels in the process.

* He clearly flouted U.N. rules on conventional weapons, like ballistic missiles.

* And, of course, he had persecuted his own people for years, committing horrid atrocities — rape, torture, mass murder, not to mention political repression. He killed thousands with chemical weapons.

Among the most vital reasons for war was the need, post-9/11, to show the world's outlaws, from Saddam to bin Laden and beyond, that civilized nations would no longer ignore terror.

Bin Laden, remember, based his attacks on America's record of retreat in places like Beirut in '83 and Somalia 10 years later. He believed Americans had no stomach for a fight, and they could be attacked with impunity. Until the campaigns in Afghanistan (news - web sites) and Iraq, such reasoning, sad to say, was understandable.

All of this still leaves the question of the CIA's critical foul-ups. The Senate committee cited systemic "cultural" and management problems. It said ana- lysts had fallen victim to "group think":

"The committee found significant shortcomings in almost every aspect of the intelligence community's human intelligence collection efforts against Iraq's [WMDs] . . . Most, if not all, of these problems stem from a broken corporate culture and poor management."

Clearly, President Bush blundered in not moving more swiftly to show CIA Director George Tenet the door. Tenet has run the agency since 1997 — long enough to be fully responsible for its culture and operation.

Beyond that, he is the one who reportedly insisted to Bush that the matter of Saddam's WMDs was a "slam dunk."

Wrong.

Now that Tenet is finally leaving, the agency is ripe for a fresh start. The committee's recommendations may be useful in informing that process.

Democrats today are licking their chops over the ammo against Bush the com mittee provided yesterday.

While the Kerry camp's response was remarkably muted ("Americans deserve answers, not politics"), Rockefeller didn't hesitate to make ludicrous leaps from the report's conclusions.

"We have fostered a deep hatred of Americans in the Muslim world," he said. (Sorry, senator. They've hated us for a long, long time.)

He even questioned whether Iraq is better off today than before the war — suggesting that he, too, thinks Saddam's rule is preferable.

And, he said, "our nation is more vulnerable today than ever before."

No doubt, U.S. troops who have fought, and are fighting still, in Iraq will be thrilled to hear that. Yet, with Saddam gone and terrorists busy getting killed in Iraq rather than flying planes into American office buildings, there's no truth to that claim at all.

Indeed, Americans should feel good about Iraq. The work there isn't yet done, but success in Iraq will ultimately prove to be a key victory in the War on Terror.

And that's what counts.


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: bushdoctrineunfold; iraq
"Indeed, Americans should feel good about Iraq. The work there isn't yet done, but success in Iraq will ultimately prove to be a key victory in the War on Terror. "

Great editorial!

1 posted on 07/10/2004 5:47:00 PM PDT by FairOpinion
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To: FairOpinion; *Bush Doctrine Unfold; NormsRevenge; Grampa Dave; blam; Dog; Cap Huff; Coop; Howlin; ..

Yes, really GREAT!!!!


Will anybody among the elite ever read it, and will the NY'ers read it?

Lots of people need to see this.


2 posted on 07/10/2004 5:58:37 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (.New Linux SUSE Pro 9.1 user here.)
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To: SandRat; Ragtime Cowgirl; Radix; HiJinx; Spiff; JackelopeBreeder; Da Jerdge; MJY1288; xzins; ...

pings to you all.


3 posted on 07/10/2004 6:00:33 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (.New Linux SUSE Pro 9.1 user here.)
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To: FairOpinion

Great editorial!


4 posted on 07/10/2004 6:01:52 PM PDT by Moonmad27 (Vote for GWB in November - we MUST win.)
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To: Pokey78; riley1992; Miss Marple; deport; Dane; sinkspur; steve; kattracks; JohnHuang2

pings galore.


5 posted on 07/10/2004 6:01:57 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (.New Linux SUSE Pro 9.1 user here.)
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To: Diogenesis; <1/1,000,000th%; 11B3; 2111USMC; 2Jedismom; 68-69TonkinGulfYatchClub; ...

ping!


6 posted on 07/10/2004 6:03:27 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (.New Linux SUSE Pro 9.1 user here.)
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To: Sabertooth; Brian Mosely; CheneyChick; vikingchick; Victoria Delsoul; WIMom; kmiller1k; mhking; ...

fyi


7 posted on 07/10/2004 6:05:02 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (.New Linux SUSE Pro 9.1 user here.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Who's left to ping?

Great read to bad it doesn't get the press coverage it needs. D#%M SLIME STREAM MEDIA.


8 posted on 07/10/2004 6:06:41 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

BUMP...


9 posted on 07/10/2004 6:10:23 PM PDT by tubebender (If I had known I would live this long I would have taken better care of myself...)
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To: FairOpinion
The CIA's assertions — that Iraq had stockpiles of banned weapons and was well on its way to making nukes — were wrong, the report said.

They weren't wrong. The media has been running amok with this BS for a long time now.

Iraq was a threat, and only foolish persons, or those with a serious agenda that is not in accord with the current administration would promulgate such contrary notions.

10 posted on 07/10/2004 6:13:13 PM PDT by Radix (This Tag Line is for the purpose of mentioning that John Kerry served in Viet Nam!)
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To: FairOpinion

Clinton obviously thought Iraq still had WMD.

Larry King Live July 22, 2003

Bill Clinton in phone interview with King:

"People can quarrel with whether we should have more troops in Afghanistan or internationalize Iraq or whatever,

but it is incontestable that on the day I left office, there were unaccounted for stocks of biological and chemical weapons."

Incontestable.

WMD hunters tout progress in Iraq
Kay says search will 'take time'

August 1, 2003

WASHINGTON (CNN) --U.S. investigators are making "solid progress" in the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, one of the leaders of the effort said after briefing senators.

"I think the American people should be prepared for surprises," said David Kay, a former U.N. weapons inspector who is leading the CIA's weapons investigation. "I think it's very likely that we will discover remarkable surprises in this enterprise."

Kay and Maj. Gen. Keith Dayton, head of the Pentagon's Iraq Survey Group, spent about six hours Thursday updating the Senate Armed Services and Intelligence committees in closed-door hearings on the weapons investigation, which includes U.S., British and Australian personnel.

"Every week, it is phenomenal what we're finding," Dayton told reporters afterward.

Kay told reporters that during the first six weeks of the effort, investigators have uncovered useful documents about Iraq's WMD programs and are getting increased cooperation from Iraqis.

He also said the team has "found some physical evidence" related to Iraqi weapons, though he declined to characterize that evidence.

The task of finding physical evidence related to Iraq's weapons programs was made more difficult by the destruction during the war and the looting afterward, he said.

"I think we are making solid progress," he said. "It is preliminary. We're not at the final stage of understanding fully Iraq's WMD program, nor have we found WMD weapons.

"It's going to take time. The Iraqis had over two decades to develop these weapons, and hiding them was an essential part of their program."


One of my best friends was on the ISG with Kay and he echoed these exact sentiments.
After being on the ground and searching the sites and recovering suspicious items, he was floored to hear that Iraq had " no WMD," because that's not what they saw with their own eyes.


World Tribune: June 11, 2004


"The United Nations has determined that Saddam Hussein shipped weapons of mass destruction components as well as medium-range ballistic missiles before, during and after the U.S.-led war against Iraq in 2003."

"The UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission briefed the Security Council on new findings that could help trace the whereabouts of Saddam's missile and WMD program."

"The briefing contained satellite photographs that demonstrated the speed with which Saddam dismantled his missile and WMD sites before and during the war. Council members were shown photographs of a ballistic missile site outside Baghdad in May 2003, and then saw a satellite image of the same location in February 2004, in which facilities had disappeared."

Maybe we should alert Roberts and Rocky that the UN does not agree with their CLOWNS-R-US Committee.



11 posted on 07/10/2004 6:15:45 PM PDT by Wild Irish Rogue
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To: Radix

Read the entire article, in case you quit early, before he makes those very points, that Iraq indeed was a threat and enumerates the reasons.

It really is a very good article.


12 posted on 07/10/2004 6:16:10 PM PDT by FairOpinion (If you are not voting for Bush, you are voting for the terrorists.)
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To: FairOpinion

The opinionheads are finally figuring out that we're winning in Iraq and the Middle East at large. How about Israel guys? Since Rantisi it's gotten pretty quite. The Intifada is winding down. The Israelis are consolidating their victory. There is no joy in Iran or Syria; the mighty Jihadi has struck out. If the Arab street is starting to get the picture, soon even the Dims might catch on.


13 posted on 07/10/2004 6:19:43 PM PDT by claudiustg (Go Sharon! Go Bush!)
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To: Radix

They were wrong? Based on what? Politicians? The fact is we don't know what all is buried in the sand over there and what happened to the known chemical WMDs.


14 posted on 07/10/2004 6:20:24 PM PDT by plain talk
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To: Radix

"Was the war justified?

The answer is: Unequivocally yes.

The Rockefellers and John Kerrys of the world suggest that only a discovery of large WMD stockpiles would make it right to have ousted Saddam.

But among many other reasons were:

* Saddam had flouted 17 U.N. resolutions and the terms of the 1991 Gulf War (news - web sites) cease-fire. He repeatedly tried to shoot down U.S. warplanes in the no-fly zone. America would have been justified in resuming the Gulf War much earlier on that basis alone.

* Saddam had been a regional menace for 20 years, having instigated two wars. He continued to make threats against his neighbors even after the Gulf War. His ultimate goal: to dominate the region — and its output of oil.

This would have given him virtually unlimited resources for his evil projects.

* Saddam had provided safe haven for terrorists, including Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian Palestinian with ties to Osama bin Laden (news - web sites).

Zarqawi is said to be behind the murder of an American diplomat, Lawrence Foley, prior to the war. Today, he is believed responsible for numerous attacks and beheadings in Iraq.

* Saddam had reached out to and supported terror groups like Hamas and Hezbollah. He paid the families of suicide bombers $25,000 apiece.

* Saddam milked the Oil-for-Food program for at least $10 billion for his own use — apparently corrupting the United Nations (news - web sites) at the highest levels in the process.

* He clearly flouted U.N. rules on conventional weapons, like ballistic missiles.

* And, of course, he had persecuted his own people for years, committing horrid atrocities — rape, torture, mass murder, not to mention political repression. He killed thousands with chemical weapons.

Among the most vital reasons for war was the need, post-9/11, to show the world's outlaws, from Saddam to bin Laden and beyond, that civilized nations would no longer ignore terror. "


15 posted on 07/10/2004 6:20:35 PM PDT by FairOpinion (If you are not voting for Bush, you are voting for the terrorists.)
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To: FairOpinion

"* Saddam had flouted 17 U.N. resolutions and the terms of the 1991 Gulf War (news - web sites) cease-fire....."

Wasn't one of those resolutions that he account for all of his WMD and allow for inspections? Saddam didn't account for them, and the inspectors left after realizing they were being obstructed by Saddam. It doesn't take the CIA to raise the concern for WMD - Saddam did that all by himself.


16 posted on 07/10/2004 6:21:11 PM PDT by geopyg (Peace..................through decisive and ultimate VICTORY. (Democracy, whiskey, sexy))
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To: FairOpinion
Could someone please reconcile for me this Senate report to the following:

(1)"UN Confirms: WMDs Smuggled out of Iraq" (article dated June 18)
(2)the averted chemical attack in Jordan,
(3)the yellow cake found in the Netherlands,
(4)the missile engines found in both Jordan and the Netherlands (supposedly all Iraqi)?

I would appreciate it. Thank you
17 posted on 07/10/2004 6:21:16 PM PDT by Chgogal (Fellow Democrats and Whiners, don't be so stingy with Freedom. Win won for the Gipper!)
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To: plain talk; Radix

The point is that while some individual reports MAY have been wrong -- we don't KNOW they actually were wrong, and neither does the Senate committee.

Also, even if some individual reports MAY have been wrong, the overall conclusion that Saddam was a direct threat to us, was not wrong. The Senate committee also ignored Putin's statement, that their intelligence had information that Saddam himself was planning terror attacks against the US.


18 posted on 07/10/2004 6:23:32 PM PDT by FairOpinion (If you are not voting for Bush, you are voting for the terrorists.)
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To: FairOpinion
The truth, in several ways, comes out. Yes, the CIA intelligence was flawed. However, we now find that there were stores of uranium and other materials. There is no reason the public shouldn't know this.

Can we say Bush in November--with 300+ electoral votes!?

19 posted on 07/10/2004 6:34:09 PM PDT by RockinRight
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To: RockinRight

I'm tired of of the whole WMD/no WMD arguing. I don't care what Saddam had 5 or 10 years ago. I cared about what he was going to have 5 years from now. Unless you believe Saddam only wanted to live in peace and had given up his quest for WMD taking him out was inevitable.

Does anyone really think Saddam was going to sit around his palaces writing bad fiction while the Iranians became a nuclear power?


20 posted on 07/10/2004 7:05:12 PM PDT by DHerion
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To: DHerion

bttt


21 posted on 07/10/2004 7:21:30 PM PDT by malia (BUSH/CHENEY '04)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
At the end of the day, though, the WMD issue is essentially peripheral.

The question before Americans at the moment is this:

Was the war justified?

The answer is: Unequivocally yes.

Indeed, Americans should feel good about Iraq. The work there isn't yet done, but success in Iraq will ultimately prove to be a key victory in the War on Terror.

And that's what counts.

Excellent article, Ernest. Bookmarked.

22 posted on 07/10/2004 7:38:28 PM PDT by Victoria Delsoul (The beauty of flip-flopping consists entirely in saying one thing and doing something else)
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To: DHerion
I'm tired of of the whole WMD/no WMD arguing. I don't care what Saddam had 5 or 10 years ago. I cared about what he was going to have 5 years from now. Unless you believe Saddam only wanted to live in peace and had given up his quest for WMD taking him out was inevitable

Well said. No President responsible for the safety of his countrymen can deny the combustibility of Petro dollars and WMDs.

It is all very well to say that "the buck stops here" in the oval office but consider the crippling effect on a President's ability to wage war if every time the intelligence world gets it wrong the President must suffer a political defeat for acting to protect his people. This is precisely the dilemma currently being faced by Tony Blair who is under attack for relying on "faulty" intelligence.

What a terrible precedent we will set in both countries if we punish courage and incentivise pusillanimity in our leaders in this shadowy but perilous world war against terrorists bent on using weapons of mass murder in our homeland. What a distortion of a noble motto meant to express the courage which must be the emblem of a leader, "the buck stops here!"

Bush has indisputably conducted himself courageously and honorably in waging this war in Iraq. If he is to lose this election as a result of honorably discharging his oath, the drama will have assumed the nature of a Greek tragedy. And we as a people will have no right to expect Kerry to sacrifice himself to his oath; the man is not stupid, he can read the lessons of history too, and it is not in his character anyway and certainly not in the tradition of the party of Clinton.

If we inflict this damage on ourselves, the buck is likely not to stop next time in the oval office but in the homeland and in a mushroom cloud.

You have it absoultely right. If Bush had waited the sanctions would have been lifted and Saddam would have rearmed without constraint of pocket book or conscience. This talk we hear today from Democrats that Saddam was "contained" is preposterous even apart from the reality of the stunning fraud of the oil for food program. The political reality was that the sanctions could not have stood after Hans Blix gave Saddam a clean bill. "Containment" of terrorists and WMDs is an illusion that can kill.

There was no substitute for regime change - but not regime change at home.

23 posted on 07/10/2004 8:37:57 PM PDT by nathanbedford
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To: churchillbuff
A ping just to mess with you.

;^)

5.56mm

24 posted on 07/10/2004 8:42:52 PM PDT by M Kehoe
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To: FairOpinion

I still want WMD to show up......and continue to think more will.


25 posted on 07/10/2004 8:48:52 PM PDT by woofie ( Ya gotta know who ya is and who ya aint ...cause if ya dont know who ya aint ,ya aint who ya is.)
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To: FairOpinion

It's one front of the war.

There will be many more fronts...God willing, not here.

Beauseant!

26 posted on 07/10/2004 8:56:15 PM PDT by Lancelot Jones (Non nobis, Domine, non nobis, sed nomini tuo da gloriam.)
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To: FairOpinion
The point is that while some individual reports MAY have been wrong -- we don't KNOW they actually were wrong, and neither does the Senate committee.

Absolutely right!

27 posted on 07/10/2004 11:23:30 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (.New Linux SUSE Pro 9.1 user here.)
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To: FairOpinion
The irony of this report is that if the WMD's are no longer in Iraq, they are someplace else. In which case, they will be used elsewhere.

If the WMD's are no longer in Iraq, it is a bigger threat to us and the rest of the world. This report only justifies our actions, and these loony senators are second-guessing themselves. Doh!

That should be the next editorial.

28 posted on 07/11/2004 1:09:22 AM PDT by World'sGoneInsane (Maybe, only half the world...)
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To: M Kehoe
This doesn't "mess with" me - - - it "messes with" those Freepers who've been insinuating I'm a traitor because I've taken the same position as the Senate Committe (including all its Republicans) now take:

The CIA's assertions — that Iraq had stockpiles of banned weapons and was well on its way to making nukes — were wrong, the report said. Those claims were based on false or overstated analyses, it said. The committee's Republican chairman, Sen. Pat Roberts, termed the CIA conclusions "unreasonable" and "unsupportable." And yesterday's report was unanimous: Both Republican and Democratic committee members approved it.

THANKS FOR SHOWING I'M NOT A TRAITOR OR APPEASER, BUT INSTEAD SOMEBODY WHO INSISTS ON LOOKING AT ISSUES HONESTLY. ! Have a nice day !

29 posted on 07/11/2004 9:01:34 AM PDT by churchillbuff
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To: churchillbuff
As you know, I have never called you a name or impugned your character. We just happen to disagree on this issue. And as I said on your thread, there will be more venues before all of this is over. T'is better to kill them there, than having to kill them here.

I hope you have a great rest of the weekend.

5.56mm

30 posted on 07/11/2004 9:18:38 AM PDT by M Kehoe
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To: FairOpinion

I have a great idea for the Republican Party as a way to educate those who "just don't get it!" They should manufacture a 100 piece puzzle with all of the credible threat evidences that weighed in on the decision to go to war. That way the deadheads might figure it out as they put the pieces together for themselves.
The Republicans could could also publish a simple "CONNECT THE DOTS" paint by numbers sort of poster too; one way or another we might convince the liberals that it's a good time to go to war before the other guy smokes you. That suggests a word scramble game using the term "DEFENSE."


31 posted on 07/15/2004 11:00:01 PM PDT by TillyCimer
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