Words of War


Indefatigable Dubya fan Peggy Noonan checks in with advice for the President's State of the Union address. In short, George W. Bush has to give the nation concrete reasons to go to war with Iraq.

Noonan thinks this can only be done if Bush makes a believable claim that Saddam is about to unleash holy Hell on US soil right now. Making this stick is so important, in fact, that if Bush reveals so much detail that some intelligence assets get whacked—Noonan uses the neater "sources compromised" formulation—then "well, that would seem to be a reasonable deal."

Oh. Kay. Let's back up. First, we have a de facto admission that despite a solid year of rhetoric in service of making war on Iraq, the Bush administration has yet to convince the American public that war is the best option.

Further, Noonan says that the only way Bush can get John Q. Driveway—let alone the rest of the world—to follow him to Baghdad is provide evidence that Saddam is an immediate threat to the US of A. In other words, do exactly what all the supposed weak-kneed peace-niks have urged for months and months.

Finally, if some people have to die just so Bush can make a better case, Noonan thinks that is just what a president has to do sometimes.

But how's this for a SOTU theme: We want to take out Saddam because we are tired of looking at him. It is simple, true, and has the considerable virtue of not being deadly.


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  1. I don’t think Peggy was thinking in terms of life or death when she, to a degree, dismissed the tragedy of sources(people) being compromised(whacked); but probably was just thinking logistically in vague terms of sources(connections) being compromised(severed). Of course she doesn’t seem to realize that the reason the connections would be severed is because the informants on the inside would turn up missing faster than you can say “reasonable deal.”

  2. How about “we should take out Hussein because nobody except Hussein himself actually wants him ruling Iraq”. 🙂

    Democracy in action.

  3. Who all else are you tired of looking of, besides Saddam? Who all else do you suppose I’m tired of looking at? Who’s tired of looking at me? Who’s tired of looking at you?

  4. Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bush’s Iraq soundbite is something like this:

    “As for Iraq, it is simply this, Saddam, we know you have chemical, biological and nuke-cu-lar weapons, just tell us where the weapons are or we are gonna have to come looking for them ourselves.”

  5. Mr. Taylor says,

    >>We want to take out Saddam because we are tired of looking at him. It is simple, true, and has the considerable virtue of not being deadly.

    Come on, you don’t really think that’s true, do you? Do you think we’ll wage war with Hillary Clinton next? The Dell Dude?

    I think Peggy Noonan’s desire to hear some kind of proof, some concrete facts about Iraq is positive. I’ve been pleasantly surprised that several conservatives have expressed such desires.

  6. I’m hoping and assuming Mr. Taylor was being facetious. But obviously we can’t just double-cross sources who are at risk of being offed without their consent. But just as obviously the U.S. looks like the pigs many in the world accuse us of being if we can’t demonstrate the necessity of this war.

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