Somewhat less self-interested—though no less pernicious—are the folks who are perpetuating the myth because they want to torpedo any future pre-emptive attacks. On CNN last week (debating this columnist), Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel was clear about her motives for assailing Bush: “The preemptive doctrine… has now turned out to be an abysmal failure based on the fact that it is predicated on having 100 percent reliable intelligence -- and we’ve seen an administration which clearly manipulated intelligence to take us into war.”
If vanden Heuvel and her cohorts can convince enough voters that the war was based on a lie, a President’s ability to defend America with pre-emptive strikes will be seriously diminished. And that’s exactly what the left wants.
Making sure they have every opportunity to achieve that goal is a frighteningly pliant media. With an amount of coverage that even O.J. Simpson might envy, the media devoted countless hours to deeming President Bush a “liar.” The real shame, though, is what wasn’t being covered.
In the past week, North Korea has made further advances toward reprocessing plutonium—a stepping stone in building nukes. The other remaining “axis of evil” nation, Iran, has brutally cracked down of thousands of its own citizens who want nothing more than freedom. And like its fellow evildoer, Iran is continuing its quest to develop nuclear weapons.
The nation that should take Iraq’s old seat at the “evil” table, Saudi Arabia, continues to fuel Islamic extremism the world over, including right here in the United States with radical mosques and madrassas, or religious “schools.”
Such stories may not be as sexy—after all, these bad guys are up to the same old stuff—but we can’t afford not to pay attention. Not a day goes by when terrorists and other thugs aren’t plotting to murder Americans and our way of life. That’s no lie.
Joel Mowbray, who got his start with Townhall.com, is an award-winning investigative journalist, nationally-syndicated columnist and author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America's Security.
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