Alan Light: ‘Watching these war protestors in the major cities I can’t help wondering how many of them voted for Ralph Nader. Sigh.’

☞ The assumption Alan is making, of course, is that if these folks had been thinking – at least in swing states like Florida, where Nader got 97,000 votes – Gore would have won and there would have been no war to protest.

‘Sure he would have won,’ some will say, ‘and then where would we have been?!’ This crowd assumes that if Gore had been President on 9/11 he would have surrendered to Al-Qaeda and, separately, allowed Saddam to develop a full arsenal of atomic bombs.

I don’t believe that.

Indeed – given the January 7, 2001 CIA briefing at Blair House, where the incoming President and VP were told that Osama Bin Laden represented a ‘tremendous’ and ‘immediate’ threat – it’s evident that the prior administration was at least paying attention and felt urgency to act. Whether Gore/Lieberman might have made enough progress by September 10 to avert September 11 is anybody’s guess. But I doubt that, post 9/11, any president would have failed to take strong action.

As to Saddam . . . his potential nuclear capability was a key argument for preemptively attacking another nation without broad backing from our allies. (With broad backing, relatively few would have protested the war.) But just how real was the Iraqi nuclear threat?

Needless to say: I don’t know. This is way above my pay grade, and probably yours. We just have to trust the President. But then you read stuff like this and it gives you pause . . . even as we all, unquestionably, detest Saddam, hope for the liberation of the Iraqi people, are impressed by the care and intelligence with which we are pursuing the attack, support our troops 110%, and pray for their swift success and speedy return.

Tuesday: Matt Miller on the Tax Cuts


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