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John Kerry can't decide what he believes about the Iraqi WMD issue, on today's Hardball with Chris Matthews. First he says he agrees with Matthews that WMD didn't exist at the time of the invasion and leverages that into a tirade against the Bush administration's honesty -- but then he executes a curious, partial reversal, as Hugh Hewitt noted on his show tonight:
Key portion of the Hardball exchange this evening:
Matthews: "If there was an exaggeration of WMD, exaggeration of the danger, exaggeration implicitly of the connection to al Qaeda and 9/11, what's the motive for this, what's the 'why?' Why did Bush and Cheney and the ideolouges around take us to war? Why do you think they did it?"
Kerry: "It appears, as they peel away the weapons of mass destruction issue, and --we may yet find them, Chris. Look, I want to make it clear: Who knows if a month from now, two months from now, you find some weapons. You may. But you certainly didn't find them where they said they were, and you certainly didn't find them in the quantities that they said they were. And they weren't found, and I have talked to some soldiers who have come back who trained against the potential of artillery delivery, because artillery was the way they had previously delivered and it was the only way they knew they could deliver. Now we found nothing that is evidence of that kind of delivery, so the fact is that as you peel it away I think it comes down to this larger ideological and neocon concept of fundamental change in the region and who knows whether there are other motives with respect to Saddam Hussein, but they did it because they thought they could, and because they misjudged exactly what the reaction would be and what they could get away with."
Kerry extends his fatuousness into yet another area this week. No one has ever said that WMD would be limited to artillery -- one of the reasons that the UN limited Iraqi missile ranges (which, as Kenneth Timmerman noted, they routinely violated) was to ensure that Saddam couldn't drop chemical weapons onto Tel Aviv with a ballistic missile delivery system. Another reason was to keep WMD from terrorists, who have very little use for artillery-delivered WMD, but could make good use of the chemicals and biological agents in other ways. When did the threshold for chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons become artillery-based deployment?
But more than that, Kerry argues for both positions in the same breath. If WMDs aren't found, then the whole thing was just a big neo-con conspiracy, a sentiment that one usually has to travel to Jakarta or Tehran to hear. If they are found, then ... what? Bush told the truth and your paranoia has been revealed? If he finds WMD but not in the quantities found, is it still a neo-con conspiracy? How much WMD does Kerry consider to be a problem? Kerry doesn't answer those questions, mostly because Matthews didn't bother to ask them, turning "Hardball" into television's most ironic show title. (If you listened to the replay, you could practically hear the smooch from Matthews' lips on Kerry's backside. It was that bad.)
So now on one hand, Kerry claims Bush lied as part of a vast neo-con conspiracy to turn the Middle East democratic -- oh, the horror! -- while saying at the same time that WMD may still be found. Either he lied or he didn't, Senator. If he lied, then you're saying that the WMD never existed and he knew it, despite the testimony of everyone involved and even Bill Clinton that the intelligence all said that it existed. Somehow George Bush saw through the intelligence reports from all Western nations claiming that Iraq had WMD and refused to account for them, and decided to go to war anyway even though in the end he knew that we'd find nothing and he'd pay a political price for it.
Or we may still find WMD, in which case Kerry turns into Emily Litella and says, "Never mind!"
Riiiiiiiiiight .....Sphere It View blog reactions
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