Occam’s toothrush

What do you have to believe in order to keep alive your conviction that the Bush administration conspired to launch a lie-based war?

Normally I really like reading Christopher Hitchens but this recent article is just so bad I had to spew a little venom. What are the problems:

as that which arose from the passage of the Iraq Liberation Act, during the Clinton-Gore administration, in 1998. That legislation—which passed the Senate without a dissenting vote—did expressly call for the removal of Saddam Hussein but did not actually mention the use of direct U.S. military force.

While that is true, it ignores the fact that the ILA was drafted by PNAC a think tank that later formed the core of the Bush43 foreign policy and military apparatus. Odd that he would leave that out. Well not that odd when you consider that is invalidates much of his claims.

In 1998, following marked Iraqi unwillingness to co-operate with UN weapons inspections, members of the PNAC including Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz wrote to the president, Bill Clinton, urging him to remove Saddam Hussein from power using US diplomatic, political and military power. The letter argued that Saddam would pose a threat to the U.S., its Middle-East allies and oil resources in the region if he succeeded in obtaining Weapons of Mass Destruction. The letter also stated “American policy cannot continue to be crippled by a misguided insistence on unanimity in the UN Security Council.” The letter argues that an Iraq war would be justified by Saddam Hussein’s defiance of UN “containment” policy and his persistent threat to U.S. interests.

From wikipedia; externally sourced. Recognize those names? Both Rummy and Wolfy were involved with the PNAC, the ILA and were senior members of the civilian military oversight for Bush43. So why is Mr. Chalabi needed to believe that Bush lied us into war? Mr. Hitchens seems to have missed the targets the critics of the war are pointing to.

the INC was able to manipulate the combined intelligence services of Britain, France, Germany, and Italy, as well as the CIA, the DIA, and the NSA, who between them employ perhaps 1.4 million people, and who in the American case dispose of an intelligence budget of $44 billion, with only a handful of Iraqi defectors and an operating budget of $320,000 per month. That’s what you have to believe.

No you don’t. Mr. Hitchens builds this little straw man and I have yet to hear anyone suggest the fault of the bad Intel comes from the INC. And Mr. Hitchens ignores the revelations that come from the Downing Street Memo which suggest that the Intel was being fixed to the cause or going to war.

The part of Hitchens’ straw man that really gets me is that it fails to identify the people who are making these supposed claims that the INC fooled us all. The referenced WaPo article by Mr. Pincus doesn’t even mention Chalabi. So who are these lefties blaming the INC? He argument might actually have merit if he listed them.