Debra J. Saunders

 At the end of the debate, a woman asked Bush to name three mistakes he has made. Nice try, lady, but Bush is not going to give Camp Kerry any more ammo. In fact, while Kerry faults Bush for not admitting his mistakes, Kerry doesn't really admit he made any. You see, the savvy senator was "misled" by Bush, so he voted for the "wrong war" at the wrong time because the wily Bush snowed him.

 A new report by intelligence analyst Charles Duelfer, which lays out that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction -- the big Bush mistake -- demands a column of its own, and I'll write on that later. Right now, I would like to return to the Kerry line on the war in Iraq. Hint: It works best for people with no memory.

 Kerry told the St. Louis crowd that he voted for the Senate resolution to authorize force in Iraq -- only after he went to talk with U.N. Security Council members. "I talked to all of them to find out how serious they were about really holding Saddam Hussein accountable. I came away convinced that if we worked at it, if we were ready to work at letting Hans Blix do his job and thoroughly go through the inspections, that if push came to shove, they'd be there with us," he said.

 This is part of the Kerry "last resort" fable about how he thought Bush would only go to war as a last resort after exhausting all U.N. venues. The problem is, before the vote, Bush had told the United Nations that the body could be either irrelevant or a real peacekeeping body and enforce its resolutions.

 The Senate resolution makes no mention of a "last resort." It was a muscular document that repeated Bush's call that "the Security Council resolutions will be enforced, and the just demand of peace and security will be met, or action will be unavoidable."

Debra J. Saunders

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