Dionne’s Take in the Post

I have to admit, at first this pissed me off, and it’s still irritating me. However, it is worth a read, and Dionne is trying to introduce constructive criticism, which is encouraging. I think this is based on a couple of mistaken notion, however, chief among them that there actually was a post-9/11 consensus. Domestically, that may have been true — maybe. If so, it was short-lived. Dionne is incorrect to say that the Afghanistan phase of the war received near-unanimous support, however. We were regaled with history lessons about how the British became lost in their Afghanistan entanglement, and how it was the Russian version of Vietnam in the 1980s.
World reaction was decidedly more mixed. As Merde in France has repeatedly documented, French opinion was that we got what was coming to us, and our focus on Afghanistan should have been diplomatic rather than military, and our approach to bin Laden should have been law-enforcement rather than war. People around the world protested our campaign in Afghanistan, claiming that we were indiscriminately bombing civilians and creating a catastrophe of human suffering as a result. There were threats about indicting US leader and military commanders on war crimes charges. In short, it was pretty much a warm-up for the Iraq phase of the war. Since Dionne’s main point is that the Bush administration has negated this nonexistent worldwide consensus and goodwill, his article takes us nowhere.
However, despite what I think is excessive focus on rationalizing an unprecedented victory, Dionne’s article acknowledges the intellectual bankruptcy of the domestic opposition (most of it) and distinctly notes that there was/is a strong, traditionally liberal case for the Iraq phase. Perhaps the new organization that Bush is assembling will take some of these hints and start making their case a lot clearer — and increase their volume — in the coming days.

FBI Funded Hamas?

I’m wondering if someone shouldn’t be losing their job over this story:

While President Clinton was trying to broker an elusive peace between Israelis and Palestinians, the FBI was secretly funneling money to suspected Hamas figures to see if the militant group would use it for terrorist attacks, according to interviews and court documents…Several thousand dollars in U.S. money was sent to suspected terror supporters during the operation as the FBI tried to track the flow of cash through terror organizations, the FBI said in a rare acknowledgment of an undercover sting that never resulted in prosecutions.
“This was done in conjunction with permission from the attorney general for an ongoing operation, and Israeli authorities were aware of it,” the bureau said.
One of the FBI’s key operatives, who has had a falling out with the bureau, provided an account of the operation at a friend’s closed immigration court proceeding.

U.S. to overhaul Iraq, Afghan efforts

Well, it’s about time this administration started taking some action to win the peace. So far, while the Bush team is making all the right moves overseas, they’ve done a piss-poor job communicating back home. They’ve allowed the I-ANSWER stooges to occupy all the bandwidth, although Instapundit points out that this is now changing, too.

The memo, which outlines working groups to coordinate anti-terrorism efforts, economic development, political affairs in Iraq and the creation of clearer messages to the media, is “a recognition by everyone that we are in a different phase now”, Rice told the Times in an interview Sunday.

More from David Kay

Here’s more from David Kay … information that doesn’t seem to be getting a lot of play elsewhere, but explains that we were right in going to war.

“We now have three cases in which scientists have come forward with equipment, technology, diagrams, documents and, in this case, actual weapons material, reference strains and botulinum toxin that they were told to hide and that the U.N. didn’t find,” he said Sunday.

Mr. Kay’s Report

The Washington Post has an intelligent, measured editorial aboutDavid Kay’s report. This is the best coverage yet that I’ve seen on the report from the major media, and it doesn’t surprise me that the Post was the newspaper that got there first. It makes an important point that hasn’t really gotten the attention it deserves: our prewar intelligence was faulty, not faked, but we’d better figure out how to get it fixed.