Here's how stupid this Saddam and Al Qaeda (search) debate is.

OK, let's say Edwards and Kerry and Lockhart et al, are right.

There's no WMD (search) connection, no Al Qaeda connection and no Sept. 11 connection.

Let's say they're right — despite the evidence that conclusions have been made for political purposes — but let's say they're right for argument's sake: There were no WMD, no Al Qaeda, no 9/11 link. That means Saddam was innocent and that means the war was wrong

That means Saddam should still be in charge of his country and that regime change was unjustified and in error.

Hey, we can do something about this: Saddam is in our custody. Let's see somebody step forward and say it was all wrong and therefore we should let Saddam free and pop him loose from his jail cell. We should give him back his army. We should give him back his palaces. We should resurrect his two thug murderer sons. We should make things all better again, pre-March 2003. Iraq as it was: The righteous Saddam in charge and all the Iraqis happy.

Now who's going to step up and make that argument?

That is the logical conclusion of the "Bush was wrong" argument: Bush lied, Bush misled and Bush isn't being straight with the American people.

What? Nobody wants to step up and make that argument? Why so bashful?

Because Saddam was one of those things Tony Blair called a "tricky issue." And by tricky, Blair said he meant — and I'm quoting now — "something you know has to be done" — that would be getting rid of Saddam — but, quoting again, "you want to have the luxury of criticizing" Bush and the Americans for actually doing it.

It's tricky all right.

Saddam is an issue that everybody knows Bush was right about: He had to go. Name a reason — any reason — fill in the blank. But because it's politics, some people need to maintain the luxury of criticizing Bush for something they are glad was done.

It's as bogus as bogus can be.

That's My Word.

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