Michael: Relying on ClintonThe most amusing thing about the White House's new defense of its Iraq policy (if anything about Iraq can said to be humorous) is the component which claims that Clinton came to many of the same conclusions about Saddam and his WMD in 1998 prior to Operation Desert Fox. Therefore, we are encouraged to infer that Team Bush's conclusions about Iraq's WMD, being superficially similar to Clinton's, were also supported by the best available intelligence. It's nothing more than an appeal to authority aimed at Democrats and Independents who supported Clinton, aiming to shore up Bush's deflating polls. And we all know that appeals to authority are classical logical fallacies in argumentation.
This assertion in defense of Bush fails to admit that Clinton also felt that Desert Fox had met its goals and eliminated the threat of WMD proliferation in Iraq. Clinton considered Iraq contained. But that's just the misleading and logically fallacious part. The funny (sic) part is that Bush thereby relies on the honesty and integrity of Clinton's goals for an operation that conservatives almost universally condemned as a distraction from domestic political issues and a purely political ploy with no basis in real intelligence. Ironically, many conservatives claimed that the President was intentionally puffing the evidence that Iraq was developing WMD, or even outright lying, and purposefully provoked Saddam because he so badly wanted to start a war.
So the lesson one might draw from this (sadly) unsurprising bit of hypocrisy is that a Democrat can only be right when his position, post hoc, seems to support Bush's policies. Conservatives reserve the right to rehabilitate any policy they once excoriated, if it suits their immediate needs. Any questioning of the Bushista party line in such matters is simply irrational Bush hatred (aka Bush Derangement Syndrome), and can therefore be ignored.