Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Safire: Still an Idiot

I rarely read William Safire because I find him both irritating and stupid, not a good combination. I often find George Will and even Cal Thomas irritating, but neither of them is usually stupid. William F. Buckley was never stupid, even when you violently disagreed with him. As he proves today in the NYT, Safire is, well, not bright:

I now admit to having expected the war in Iraq to be won in a matter of months, not years. Saddam's plan to disperse his forces and conduct a murderous insurgency, abetted by his terrorist allies, was a surprise.

Really? In what way was this a surprise? Saddam knew that to throw his forces against ours was to expose them to a meatgrinder. We knew this too. So a modicum of his forces fought for time while everyone else dispersed and weaponry was hidden. Only a few idiot necrocons thought that we'd be greeted as liberators. Smart people - not Safire - knew or suspected there would be some kind of insurgency. Admittedly, it has exceeded what anyone thought would happen.

This by no means suggests that President Bush's decision to overthrow a dangerous despotism was a mistake. On the contrary, it was and is the right war (against a genocidal maniac who was gaining strength) in the right place (the Middle East cradle of terror) for the right purpose (to get the Arab street out of the rut of hatred and onto a path to freedom).

Perhaps Safire would like to explain in what way Saddam was "gaining strength." His country was a ruin. His military was in shambles. Gaining strength? Huh?

In return for today's grudging concession of tactical misjudgment, however, I claim this expectation: When and if we discover hidden supplies of germ weapons in Iraq or Syria, and as future confessions reveal the extent of connections between Al Qaeda and Saddam, the legion of war critics will forthrightly admit their certitude was misplaced.

Uh, right. All together now: there were no connections between Saddam and Osama. Osama hated Saddam. He probably celebrated when Saddam was dragged out of little hole and humiliated in front of the world. And those WMDs - wow, are those well hidden or what.

Those are just the first three paragraphs of Safire's piece today. To borrow a phrase, there's just no there there.


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