Daniel Drezner is hosting a debate between two CalPundit commentors on the resolution,

“It is a complete fabrication that the Bush administration argued in the runup to the war that there was an imminent threat from Iraq.”

Sebastian Holsclaw argues in the affirmative. Jonathan Schwarz takes the negative. Both do a creditable job researching the pre-war commentary and marshalling the arguments. I’ll let you judge the debate for yourself, but I suspect the “winner” will be the one you already agree with.

Update (1057): Daniel Davies parses the grammar over at Crooked Timber. There is also an amusing mini-debate over whether PhD’s should be referred to as “doctor” going on in the update/comments thread.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Paul says:

    I think this is one of the rare cases when you can “over google.”

    Jonathan parses the hell out of the State of the Union Address but then lets this slip right past him…

    4. On October 16 last year, the following exchange with Ari Fleischer took place at a White House press briefing:

    Q Ari, the President has been saying that the threat from Iraq is imminent, that we have to act now to disarm the country of its weapons of mass destruction, and that it has to allow the U.N. inspectors in, unfettered, no conditions, so forth.

    “MR. FLEISCHER: Yes.”

    I believe this speaks for itself.

    When the debate in this case boils down to the use of a single word, things get distorted. (especially when that word had no such importance before the war) While the word “imminent” was in the question to Ari it could VERY easily be asserted that Ari was answering the part about “it [Iraq] has to allow the U.N. inspectors in, unfettered, no conditions, so forth. ”

    So it can be parsed a million ways.

    Forgetting google and the stupid word games, the question was did Bush and the administration try to sell that Iraq would get us tomorrow?

    Anyone who has a firm grip on recent history would be forced to acknowledge that the danger spoken about repeatedly was that he might give the nasty stuff to terrorists and that we could not wait for that to happen.

    I see your point that you will agree with who you agreed with yesterday, but while I was interested in the debate at first, after reading halfway thru I realized it is a meaningless debate. It is just a bunch of word games.