Tuesday, April 20, 2004

LILEKS (James) The Bleat
Some great observations from Lileks today. His Gnat stories are always amusing: "Gnat got into the game: when two little boys, full of little boyness, scrambled up the rigging and pushed her aside, she scrambled to the top, pointed a finger at them and said 'you're being rude.' And she did nothing about it beyond that. I see a State Department career.

But then there's also, very importantly, this: "If this holds, and Saddam was indeed funneling money to and through al-Qaeda-connected banks, what does this do for John Kerry's credibility? He stated on Sunday that Saddam had no connections to Al-Qaeda, an assertion that has now taken on the mantle of Absolute Fact. Nowadays the idea that Saddam had anything to do with terrorism is regarded as proof of a mind that refuses to accept reality. This, despite the payments to the suicide bombers' families. This, despite the terrorists who had refuge in Iraq. This, despite the training camp. This, despite al-Ansar. This is something I've never understood: the belief that Iraq was somehow hermetically sealed off from the politics of the Arab world, as though it was actually located somewhere north of Turkey, as though it was immune to the temptation of using these transnational forces to its own advantage."

and this: "I don't think he was behind 9/11; I don't think he organized it, supported it overtly, or even knew what was up. That's different from saying 'Saddam had no connection to Al-Qaeda,' which strikes me not only as a rash and premature judgment, but one that seems willfully blind to the realities of the region."

and finally: "Let's say Saddam's bribes ended up in a bank in the Caymans, and Dick Cheney had been on that bank's board in 1999. Would the allegation of such a transfer be a story? Damn straight. As it should be."

Read the whole thing. Even though I've just reproduced so much of it, there's more worth seeing.

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