the ancient art of persuasion

Thomas Nephew is back from hiatus! and jumps right back into blogging with some thoughts on the evolution of his stance regarding war with Iraq:

I continue to agree with war skeptics on this: for our own sake and the sake of our standing in the world, I think it would be best that the case be clear, that a "smoking gun" be revealed. Best, but not absolutely necessary: I accept that Iraq is a big place, and American military and intelligence organizations are not omnipotent in finding something an absolute dictator does not want found. If the Bush people are as certain as they claim, a "smoking gun" should be doable, perhaps as a final card that reveals some "assets and methods" or whatever the intelligence phrase is. If it's not doable, then that should be explained, and the continued push towards war should be explained as well. That could be done. American voters are grownups (generally speaking). We can handle the truth.

This really encapsulates my own views on the matter as well. I was invited to join StandDown (NoWarBlog) as a contributor, but I've only linked to it, not actually joined, because I still haven't firmly decided that war with Iraq is absolutely necessary or uneccessary. And it's absolutely true for me as well that a MASSIVE fraction of my skepticism is the Bush Administration's continual record of lying, hypocrisy, pandering, poll-driven opportunism, cover-up, and its sheer naked pursuit of political power at all costs. I cannot and will not excuse Bush for his domestic "policy" and this does factor into my evaluation of his foreign policy.

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