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Willful Blinders

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As John Kerry has become the standard bearer for the ABB crowd, he has had to adopt positions which he himself scorned just last year as he ran in the primaries against Howard Dean. Such is the price of ambition, but it has left him a touch vulnerable. His latest is that George Bush is responsible for terrorism in Iraq. In this, Kerry does have the support of the ABBers, but not much else. Still, this is a difficult row to hoe for those who have been paying attention:

In Thursday’s debate, George Bush should ask John Kerry to answer a few questions about his confidence in Saddam Hussein’s character and his belief in the dictator’s steadfast abstinence from terrorist ties. Such as: If Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was not a haven for terrorists before the war, why is it that American soldiers keep capturing terrorists who resided in Iraq before the war?

Does Kerry, who praised inspector David Kay, disagree with Kay’s conclusion that “We know that terrorists were passing through Iraq. And now we know that there was little control over Iraq’s weapons capabilities. I think it shows that Iraq was a very dangerous place. The country had the technology, the ability to produce, and there were terrorist groups passing through the country — and no central control”?

Does Kerry deny that Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, the beheader of Nick Berg and two Americans last week, was in Iraq before the war and harbored by Saddam Hussein? Or does Kerry think that Zarqawi just happened to be vacationing there?

Kerry will no doubt try to nail Bush for taking America to war on “false intelligence.” But what about the true pre-war intelligence about Zarqawi’s presence in Baghdad? Bush ought to remind Kerry that the very terrorist the Bush administration held up before the war as exhibit A of Saddam Hussein’s ties to terrorism is the terrorist who is now beheading Americans. Kerry says that he would have focused his “energies” on capturing the Zarqawis and bin Ladens instead of dissipating them in the “wrong place.” But since Zarqawi was in Iraq before the war and Kerry says he wouldn’t have entered Iraq, we know that he doesn’t mean it.

John Kerry can’t imagine Saddam Hussein as a godfather to terrorists before the war. But Zarqawi had no problem envisioning Saddam Hussein in that role. Colin Powell’s pre-war presentation before the United Nations established that Zarqawi received safe haven in Iraq, traveling “to Baghdad in May 2002 for medical treatment, staying in the capital of Iraq for two months while he recuperated to fight another day. … During this stay, nearly two dozen extremists converged on Baghdad and established a base of operations there. These al Qaeda affiliates, based in Baghdad, now coordinate the movement of people, money and supplies into and throughout Iraq for his network, and they’ve now been operating freely in the capital for more than eight months.”

In other words, the insurgents after the war are terrorists Saddam Hussein harbored before it.

There’s more, and it all ought to be read.

Written by martinipundit

September 29, 2004 at 12:08 am

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