Saturday, November 26, 2005


The New York Times calls itself "The Newspaper of Record" but the folks in the editorial aerie may live to regret that anyone is keeping a record of anything they say.

They've been caught in full pants-down mode by American Future which presents an instructive little log of the ever-shifting editorial opinions about the Iraq Question from 1993 to 2005. Let's see now-- 1993 was when George W. Bush was starting the first of his four terms as President-- no, WAIT! SOMEONE ELSE WAS PRESIDENT when this whole mess started! That explains why the Times now takes a position 180 degrees from where they used to stand! Back in the good old days, according to the Times, Iraq had WMD, Clinton was weak-kneed in not going after Saddam, Hans Blix was a dork-- and that's only in the first of three instalments!

Hats off to Demarche and Schulman, with a tip of the hat to Instapundit for pointing it all out, as well as linking a great post on Urban Legends about the Iraq War over at American Enterprise Online. Money quote:

Urban Legend: Helping democracy take root in Iraq was a postwar rationalization by the Bush administration; it was an argument that was not made prior to going to war. In the words of a November 13, 2003 New York Times editorial, “The White House recently began shifting its case for the Iraq war from the embarrassing unconventional weapons issue to the lofty vision of creating an exemplary democracy in Iraq.”

Reality: The President argued the importance of democracy taking root in Iraq before the war began. A February 27, 2003 New York Times editorial shatters the very myth the paper was perpetrating just nine months later: “President Bush sketched an expansive vision last night [in an American Enterprise Institute speech] of what he expects to accomplish by a war in Iraq. Instead of focusing on eliminating weapons of mass destruction, or reducing the threat of terror to the United States, Mr. Bush talked about establishing a ‘free and peaceful Iraq’ that would serve as a ‘dramatic and inspiring example’ to the entire Arab and Muslim world, provide a stabilizing influence in the Middle East, and even help end the Arab-Israeli conflict. The idea of turning Iraq into a model democracy in the Arab world is one some members of the administration have been discussing for a long time.” President Bush’s 2002 State of the Union made the same case…

Like most everything else, the Bush administration and the Republicans have failed to take full advantage of the fact that people who do 180-degree turns in their opinions can't really get away with it in the era of instant communications. The turncoats among the federal Democrats are completely exposed, and can come up with no better explanation than that they weren't adult enough to make an informed decision about sending soldiers to die. (And of course that's someone else's fault, despite the fact that only SIX senators bothered to read the National Intelligence Estimate before voting to go to war-- one of whom was NOT minority leader Harry Reid.)

Clearly, when they were passing out the intelligence some people were AWOL.

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