As a cause for war, it is a farce.

Richard Cohen sums up Spurious George and the Not-So-Successful UN Speech:

He appeared empty, leeched of his former passion and conviction. Events have conspired against him. His once infallible aides have turned out to be awfully fallible. They botched the aftermath of the war and they were wrong about weapons of mass destruction and Iraqi links to al Qaeda. They ought to be fired, but Bush would have to admit he was misled — and he will not do that.

The oddest document in the archives today is the congressional resolution that the White House sought authorizing war in Iraq. It is less than a year old, but already it seems from another era. It is alarmist, written in the most purple of prose, saying of Iraq that it “poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States.” It says Iraq is “supporting and harboring terrorist organizations,” specifically naming al Qaeda. As a historical document it is rich in irony. As a cause for war, it is a farce.

Bush’s problem is that he has been repeatedly reprimanded by events. Most — not all, mind you — of his reasons for the war have proved untrue. Paul Wolfowitz, who ventured to New York earlier in the week, gave three reasons for the war at a forum sponsored by the New Yorker magazine: WMD, links to terrorism and wholesale human rights abuse.

Only the last is true — and true enough to give war supporters such as myself reason for succor. All the rest is either a mistake or an exaggeration — the former by intelligence agencies, the latter by imagineers such as Wolfowitz and Dick Cheney.

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