The attempts to parse the comments of Administration officials to prove that they didn’t technically lie are pointless, because of course the chief basis of the Administration’s case was the conflation of Iraq with the “war on terra.” Whatever specific claims were made, the strategy was to portray Iraq as a direct threat to the United States because of its ties to terrorism, claims that were false then and false now irrespective of what anybody actually said.
So why are they even bothering. Digby, who’s on a major roll–just keep scrolling!/instapundit–explains it:
Let’s face it, for many people in this country (and probably the president himself) all the high flown phony rhetoric about “freedom and democracy” notwithstanding, this war is about killing arabs. For them,the terrorists were arabs therefore all arabs are terrorists. They couldn’t care less about WMD or terrorist connections to Iraq.They wanted to make an example of somebody. It’s pretty much nothing more than straight out bigotry.
The problem for Bush is that the few sentient people who might vote for him may just demand a little bit more than that. Military people, for instance, who believed Bush’s argument that you had to “take the fight to the terrorists” only to find out that our military is being uselessly killed and overburdened and we aren’t even in the right country. And, I’m sure there are some decent religious types who would be disappointed to find out that the president led them to believe (and they know what he was saying) that Iraq had something to do with 9/11 and it wasn’t true.
And then there’s the monumental disaster of the occupation what with all the torture and imprisoning of the people we are supposed to be liberating. It’s getting hard to think of any good reasons why we did this thing.
Republicans cannot win with just their racist base. Bush and his puppet masters have to keep trying to convince non-kool aid drinkers that he knows what he’s doing. They have decided that in order to do that they have to flat out deny reality.
Yep. These silly word games and careful phrasings are about convincing moderate conservatives and liberal hawks–the Reynoldses and Tottens of the electorate–that they’re part of a great progressive project. Dick Cheney knows it’s bullshit, but that doesn’t matter. Will it work? We can only hope not.