May 19, 2004

Safire's Four Noes

William Safire posits the "four noes" that have become the Iraq defeatists' platform. These positions have become increasingly difficult to defend with anything but a contorted and selective use of facts, and a denial of inconvenient realities. Safire's title, "Sarin, What Sarin", illustrates that the first "no", the absence of WMD's, is getting more threadbare with each passing day.

The second article of faith of the defeatists is the absence of a connection between Saddam's Iraq and Al Qaeda, a myth that can now only be promoted with willfull blindness to the many proven such links.

The third "no" is no human-rights high ground can be claimed by us regarding Saddam's torture chambers because we mistreated Iraqi prisoners. This equates sleep deprivation with life deprivation, illegal individual humiliation with official mass murder. We flagellate ourselves for mistreatment by a few of our guards, who will be punished; he delightedly oversaw the shoveling of 300,000 innocent Iraqis into unmarked graves. Iraqis know the difference.

Safire suggests that history will correct the record, and put the lie to these self-deceptions:

In weeks or years to come — when the pendulum has swung, and it becomes newsworthy to show how cut-and-runners in 2004 were mistaken — logic suggests we will see a rash of articles and blockbuster books to that end...

...Will today's defeatists then admit they were wrong? That's a fifth "no."

Posted by dan at May 19, 2004 11:15 AM