In his WaPo column today, George Will says of those still opposed to war with Iraq after Powell’s UN presentation: “People determined to believe that a vast conspiracy assassinated President Kennedy believe that the absence of evidence of the conspiracy proves the vastness and cleverness of the conspiracy.” Indeed. Of course, ironically, his argument cuts both ways. Presumably the French and others would say that about those of us who support the war absent a “smoking gun.” Although, at this point, I’m not sure what that would be. But, ultimately, Will is correct: “People committed to a particular conclusion will get to it and will stay there. So the facts that Powell deployed, and the pattern they form, will not persuade people determined to be unpersuaded. But Powell’s presentation, its power enhanced by his avoidance of histrionics, will change all minds open to evidence.”

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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. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.