Thursday, November 13, 2003

Dowd Flip-Flop

Everyone is entitled to change their opinion. But it is still worth noting...

From Andrew Sullivan's Blog:

...So it's helpful to remember Dowd's response to the threat of WMDs from Saddam when Clinton was in power. Here's a column written six years ago this month. Guess what her concern was? That the Clinton administration was too weak to deal with a strongman like Saddam! A trip down memory lane:

Suddenly there are fears about Iraqi crop dusters spraying death on the Mall, about the nation's capital being another Nagasaki... Having covered President Bush's efforts to demonize the Iraqis, I understood the motive behind Secretary Cohen's alarmist performance art. We are talking about a world-class monster who strangles people with his bare hands, gasses entire villages, assassinates members of his family and uses babies as shields. Wondering if the Clinton crowd has the spine for its first big crisis is giving me a bad case of the jits. The suspicion lingers about these alumni of make-love-not-war that they are not entirely comfortable with things military ... Even with George Bush's sometimes scattered style and Colin Powell's inhibition about the use of force, the Bush-Baker-Cheney-Powell-Schwarzkopf team still gave the impression of command ... I want Madeleine Albright, the most virile of the lot, to stop wearing picture hats around the Mideast. Saddam Hussein is not threatening Ascot. I fret that toothy Tony Blair is no Iron Lady.

And on and on. All this reveals is that it's a little futile attempting to criticize Maureen Dowd. She'll write anything that comes into her head at the moment. There's no argument, no thread of consistency that I can glean from one moment to the next. If the Clintonites are in power, they're wimps in the face of Saddam's threat; if the Bushies are in power, they're testosterone-crazed imperialists, hyping Saddam's threat. We should confront/appease Saddam right now/never, because the threat is real/bogus, imminent/non-existent and we have to do something/hang loose before all hell lets loose/or I get off deadline. But my favorite part of the column is the opener:

I was peaceably eating my penne at lunch the other day when my friend, another reporter, told me he thought Washington was in imminent danger of being gassed, germed, VX'ed or anthraxed.
Yes, imminent! Bush may never have said it. Rummy may never have believed it. But Ms Dowd wrote it six years ago - and now blames the Bushies for allegedly agreeing with her.

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