BUSH DIDN’T LIE, PART IV
First, he cuts Bush too much slack on the “other” reasons for war, namely Saddam’s WMD making him a serious threat to the United States, since this has turned out–so far–to be largely unfounded. Second, I think he gives Bush too much credit for occasionally talking about the “real” reason. He never explicitly did, aside from infrequent and pro forma praise of democracy and freedom.
If it turns out that Bush flatly lied about Saddam’s WMD, that’s inexcusable. But assuming he didn’t, then emphasizing a simple argument like that versus the more complex neocon one isn’t exactly uncommon in politics. Given what we know now–which, admittedly, could change–I can’t get very excited about the proposition that he did anything seriously wrong here.
This sounds about right. Indeed, I argued back in May (and here and here) that I’d have much preferred an emphasis on regime change–which was the original stated goal–rather shifting the focus to WMD to placate the UN.