Friday, November 11, 2005

Barbra Streisand vs. Norman Podhoretz: Unequal Match

Barbra Streisand blog has pretty much drifted into obscurity since the time Drudge was on her case for the inaccurate things she posted, but it’s still there, and still just as shrill. Here is a recent post calling for the impeachment of George Bush:
If there was ever a time in history to impeach a President of the United States, it would be now. In my opinion, it is two years too late. We should have done this before the election to spare the country the misjudgment, the incompetence and the malfeasance of this administration. . . . Why would you invade a country if there was still a chance for peace? Shouldn’t war be an absolute last resort? We went to war because we were misled. And we should be angry because of the 2,000 American soldiers and the 200 armed coalition forces that have died. We should be livid because of the 15,000 American soldiers that have been horribly maimed and wounded. We should be disgusted because of the 30,000 innocent Iraqi civilians that have been killed and the 20,000 that are wounded after administration officials claimed that the US was going to liberate the Iraqi people.
Of course, most of the dead and wounded civilians in Iraq were the victims of the terrorists. But Barb blames Bush.
When does it stop? It stops with the indictment and impeachment of this corrupt, power-hungry, greedy group of incompetent leaders. How many more have to die before this happens?
It might seem unfair to pick on a woman easily dismissed as a Hollywood airhead, but her rhetoric is all to typical of the loony left in the Democratic Party, which unfortunately looks very much like the mainstream of the party.

An intellectually serious discussion comes from Norman Podhoretz, editor of Commentary:
Among the many distortions, misrepresentations, and outright falsifications that have emerged from the debate over Iraq, one in particular stands out above all others. This is the charge that George W. Bush misled us into an immoral and/or unnecessary war in Iraq by telling a series of lies that have now been definitively exposed.

[. . .]

. . . it is as close to certainty as we can get that Bush believed in the truth of what he was saying about WMD in Iraq.

How indeed could it have been otherwise? George Tenet, his own CIA director, assured him that the case was “a slam dunk.” This phrase would later become notorious, but in using it, Tenet had the backing of all fifteen agencies involved in gathering intelligence for the United States. In the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) of 2002, where their collective views were summarized, one of the conclusions offered with “high confidence” was that
Iraq is continuing, and in some areas expanding its chemical, biological, nuclear, and missile programs contrary to UN resolutions.
The intelligence agencies of Britain, Germany, Russia, China, Israel, and—yes—France all agreed with this judgment.
Podhorentz also masterfully dissects the statements of the left’s favorite (but now discredited) critic of the Bush Administration, Joseph C. Wilson.

In the protected little world of New York Times reading, NPR listening, Volvo driving and latte sipping liberals and leftists, the “Bush lied” rhetoric plays just fine. But it won’t play among people who care about history.


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