Good news and bad news for President Bush about Iraq. That is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."
Even though the liberal New York Times buried the lead, its two part series on what really happened in the run up to opposing Saddam Hussein is a great piece of reporting. According to writers Michael Gordon and Bernard Trainor, Saddam's top generals were shocked when he told them that he destroyed his WMD arsenal.
The article says, "The Iraqi dictator was so secretive and kept information so compartmentalized that his top military leaders were stunned when he told them three months before the war began that he had no weapons of mass destruction and they were demoralized because they had counted on hidden stocks of poison gas or germ weapons for the nation's defense."
Now, according to the article, Saddam wanted the USA, Iran and other perceived enemies to believe he had WMDs. He thought that would deter action against him.
So we now know why the CIA, British intelligence, Russian intelligence and many other countries believed Saddam did possess deadly weapons, because his own generals believed it. Therefore, those people who have accused President Bush of lying about WMDs owe him an apology, do they not?
The liars list includes: Senators Reid, Edwards, Obama, Durbin, Leahy, Kennedy, Byrd and Dayton. Also Al Gore, Jimmy Carter, Al Sharpton, Howard Dean and a bunch of congressmen. The president should also be getting apologetic notes from at least four New York Times columnists, Ron Reagan Jr., Chevy Chase, Barbra Streisand, Ben Colwin, Jessica Lange, Johnny Depp, Helen Thomas, just to name a few.
"Talking Points" will let you know which of these people steps up and apologizes — does the right thing.
OK. That's the plus for the president: He didn't lie.
Now, the minus: There is overwhelming evidence that Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and General Tommy Franks made a huge mistake in allowing the fanatical Fedayeen to avoid capture by coalition forces. American commanders on the ground urged General Franks to slow the march to Baghdad in order to confront the civilian-clad Fedayeen who were heavily armed and dangerous. Franks said no and thousands of these killers got away.
Today, they make up the bulk of the insurgency. That was a big tactical error, no question. Now, those mistakes happen all the time in war, but when coalition lives continue to be lost, the errors must be pointed out.
I believe the articles in The New York Times are accurate and explain much about the Iraq conflict. They are well worth reading.
And that's "The Memo."
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
If you don't like it here in America you might want to consider becoming a Dutch citizen. Beginning this week, prospective immigrants to the Netherlands can take a test and see how much they know about Dutch life, and if you pass, you could be going Dutch. Sorry.
Part of the test, though, includes watching a DVD that shows pictures of two men kissing at a same-sex wedding. That has angered some perspective Muslim Dutch citizens, who are offended, saying the exposition is there to cut down on Muslim applications. They don't like that two-guys-kissing business.
Ridiculous? You can make the call on that.
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