He Does it for a Reason


Spencer Ackerman notes that George W. Bush is once again lying about the basic nature of the situation in Iraq. He'd like us to believe that what's primarily happening in Iraq is that the U.S. is fighting an "enemy," that the enemy is predominantly composed of al-Qaeda members, and that it's likely that a U.S. withdrawal would lead to some kind of al-Qaeda takeover in Iraq that leads to a terrorist attack on the American homeland. There are various people I respect who, wrongly, believe that staying in Iraq is a good idea. But nobody with a shred of honesty or intelligence believes in this line of reasoning that the president likes to endorse.

One thing I've been saying as I talk about Heads in the Sand is that liberals should take the fact of Bush's constant lying a bit more seriously. The administration wouldn't have gone out of its way to make such a dishonest presentation of the case for invading Iraq if they had really believed that they thought opposition to a doctrine of preventive war was politically untenable. Similarly, if the Bush administration thought withdrawal from Iraq was a political loser, they'd be happy to make an honest case for staying.

But they think, correctly, that an honest case for staying would be a huge political loser. Now just because the honest case would be a losing one, doesn't mean the GOP will lose with their dishonest one. But it does mean that the key to winning the debate is to expose the dishonest argument for what it is, which means putting forth a clear alternative and expressing in no uncertain terms how outrageous it is that Bush and McCain want more and more Americans to fight and die on a lie.

DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Miguel A. Contreras, U.S. Navy