Of official stories and sales pitches.

Matthew Yglesias has this to say in regard to another blogger rightly pointing out that Kagan is rewriting the truth:

…if you think back to 2002 and early 2003 it was commonplace for supporters of the war to observe that Bush wasn’t making the “right case” or the “real case” for the war. It was always, in other words, understood among readers of Washington Post editorials and Tom Friedman op-eds and The Threatening Storm, The New Republic, and The Weekly Standard that the official sales pitch was just that — a sales pitch aimed at the rubes — and not the real argument.

Too true, and someting that’s often forgotten. Yes, we’ve since learned beyond all reasonable doubt that Hussein didn’t have any dangerous weapons. But the evidence was there for anyone who wanted to see it in the way the administration kept changing its pretext for war. Were we going there for humanitarian reasons, to uphold the authority of the United Nations, to protect the United States from nuclear assault, or because Hussein was allied with bin Laden? Unfortunately, far too many serious people got suckered in by the “humanitarian” take and treated Bush’s mendaciousness as a mere detail. It’s been said that democracies have more trouble waging wars than any other type of government; however you want to run them, though, it’s a safe bet that you can’t do it by deceiving the electorate and hoping no one notices.



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