February 8, 2004 [LINK]

Russert grills Bush on Iraq

President Bush made a special appearance on Meet the Press today, and did a fairly good job of explaining the decision to go to war against Iraq. His tone was friendly and open, though he often strained to make his points. Tim Russert asked pointed questions but respectfully refrained from the tough grilling to which he usually subjects his guests. Those critics of Bush who are obsessed with wanting to know the "real" reason for going to war are likely to remain frustrated, however. Ironically, the main problem with trying to convince the skeptics is that there were just so many compelling reasons to get rid of Saddam once and for all that it's hard to focus on any single reason. I think emphasizing weapons of mass destruction was a big mistake, but that's in retrospect. In any case, there was no remaining peaceful alternative to accomplishing the goal of removing Saddam, to which leaders of both parties were already committed. I just wish the President would take the deficit more seriously; it might help to regain public trust.

Among the "wacko" wing of the war critics, I saw Noam Chomsky on CSPAN boldly predicting that Osama bin Laden would be captured right before the Democratic convention in August. He thinks the CIA already knows where bin Laden is, and we could capture him any time we wanted. Sheesh!

NOTE: This is a "post facto" blog post, taken from the pre-November 2004 archives.