Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Saddam & Osama

I never doubted that Ba'athism and al Qaeda were linked, but the media decided long ago that there were no links.

The discussion of the links between the two is being rekindled, mostly due to the publication of a book by Stephen Hayes, columnist for the Weekly Standard. Today's Washington Times has an editorial on the topic.

To be honest, this all seems academic to me. I believed the links were there, it was one of the key reasons I supported the attack on Iraq and now that the Ba'athists are out of power, that support for al Qaeda (and others) is gone. I don't really understand how something that was accepted in the late 90s became a "falsehood" by 2003. I've seen nothing to change my mind about these links.

Does that mean Saddam took part in the plans for September 11? No, of course not. But, that doesn't matter. Saddam and his regime were our enemies. Al Qaeda is our enemy. We must defeat our enemies. All other considerations are irrelevant.

I suppose if I were managing George Bush's campaign, I'd try to force John Kerry to declare one way or the other what he believes about these links. President Clinton believed Saddam and al Qaeda were linked, so Kerry might find himself trapped if the question were put to him. But, I doubt too many people will change their minds about George Bush, the War on Terror or Iraq based on a book by a columnist for neo-conservative publication.