Thursday, October 06, 2005

I can't believe I'm linking over there (Or, why Huff Post isn't a real blog)

posted by Rob at 3:20 PM

While stopping by to read the latest in Greg's double-secret hidden blog - "How men think, part one," too funny - I happened to hit the main page of the Puff Host. This headline caught my eye - "3rd Year Anniversary of Bush Lies in Cincinnati."

Forgive the redundancy of the headline, but don't forgive the content. Steve Cobble, a self-described anti-war activist and political strategist, does a half-ass fisking of a speech by Bush - a speech he doesn't actually link to, which shows both proof of intellectual dishonesty and lack of basic rules of blogging.

I found the speech here. It's interesting to note what Steve quotes and what he ignores. He begins quoting the president with this line: "Tonight I want to take a few minutes to discuss a grave threat to peace..." (and no, he doesn't mean Cheney)."

Yet Steve has no snide comment for what Bush said next. I wonder why he ignored this paragraph:
Eleven years ago, as a condition for ending the Persian Gulf War, the Iraqi regime was required to destroy its weapons of mass destruction, to cease all development of such weapons, and to stop all support for terrorist groups. The Iraqi regime has violated all of those obligations. It possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons. It has given shelter and support to terrorism, and practices terror against its own people. The entire world has witnessed Iraq's eleven-year history of defiance, deception and bad faith.
None of that paragraph has yet been proven wrong. Iraq had used chemical weapons against its own people. Saddam sought nuclear weapons. He sheltered terrorists.

Where is *the* lie?

Instead, Steve selectively quotes Bush - "If we know Saddam Hussein has dangerous weapons today--and we do..."

Note the ellipses. Now why would they be there? What else did Bush say:
If we know Saddam Hussein has dangerous weapons today -- and we do -- does it make any sense for the world to wait to confront him as he grows even stronger and develops even more dangerous weapons?
I guess Steve considers such questions beneath him, but it's one that his "side" needs to answer. Did it make sense for the world to wait to confront a man who most everyone (including Clinton, Gore, and Kennedy) agreed might have dangerous weapons? Was there any reason to doubt he had them?

Instead of pondering such queries, Steve instead Dowdifies another quote from the speech, pasting only "Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas."

Steve omits the start of that sentence - "We've also discovered through intelligence that ..."

Bush was quoting intelligence, intelligence with which, again, most of the rest of the world agreed. It isn't a lie when intelligence is proven wrong, or at least overstated.

The Huffer continues by replacing a glaring omission with a snark:
"Some worry that a change of leadership in Iraq could create instability and make the situation worse." (Like everyone with more brain cells than Homer Simpson? Maybe Harry could speak to that...)
He ignores again what Bush said afterward:
On Saddam Hussein's orders, opponents have been decapitated, wives and mothers of political opponents have been systematically raped as a method of intimidation, and political prisoners have been forced to watch their own children being tortured.
No answer for that, huh. Steve? I admit portions of Iraq are no safer that Detroit. But do you have personal intel that Jalal Talabani has cemented the right to rape and murder in the - say it slowly, it does sound odd - Iraqi constitution?

Random acts of violence in Iraq are deplorable, but they are not now state sponsored (and internationally ignored) as they were in the past. I would consider that an improved situation.

Steve's effort is the perfect cliche for the so-called "anti-war" movement - a well-crafted pack of omissions, leading a supine leftist press, a cowed Democrat Party, and an abused and ignored (and too often, truth-averting) Huff Post readership to believe BUSH LIED!!!!!

Geez I can't believe I linked to that place. Damn you Greg for being so funny!


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