May 31, 2007

The Democrats’ Iraq-9/11 Connection

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”—like all other followers of American politics—know that Saddam Hussein was not responsible for the 9/11 attacks on the United States. And we realize this, we should add, because it’s a statement that is constantly dripping from the mouths of our lefty pals.

With glee, these folks incessantly inform us that nine out of every eight Republican voters believed that Saddam Hussein masterminded the World Trade Center bombing. According to our liberal friends, the maniacal Bush administration duped the American public into believing there was a direct and strong Saddam-9/11 connection.

Quite frankly, dear reader, we’ve always found this particular left-wing talking point a bit curious. After all, don’t our lefty buddies believe that George W. Bush’s cardinal flaw is stupidity and a lack of nuance? If so, how do they explain President Bush’s seemingly paradoxical ability to fool the public via carefully-wrought misleading statements? It just doesn’t make sense.

But here’s another thing that doesn’t make sense: Some of the very people who harp and harpie about the clear absence of any Iraq-9/11 link now appear to believe it. Our proof? The current liberal love affair with fringe Republican presidential candidate-cum-libertarian nutter Ron Paul.

In the June 4 number of The New Republic, senior editor Michael Crowley contributed a largely laudatory discussion of Congressman Paul entitled “The Crank: The Surprising Relevance of Ron Paul.” Needless to say, with a title like that, it’s a highly dubious piece of hackery.

For example, Mr. Crowley puts stock—albeit somewhat hesitantly—in Ron Paul’s numbers in Internet polls:

Paul won several instant polls after the [May 15 Republican presidential] debate, including one at the conservative and a Fox News text-message poll. Incredibly, Paul’s name began beating out “Paris Hilton” as the number-one query on the popular blog-searching website Technorati. (Granted, it’s possible that Paul’s fervent supporters are manipulating such online metrics.)

It’s “possible” that rabid Paul supporters have manipulated these metrics? Well, we suppose so, if by “possible” you mean “completely clear.” We mean, come on: The guy currently polls off-line a bit lower than Adolf Hitler and Kenneth Lay.

But here’s the interesting part. Toward the start of the piece, Mr. Crowley disparages Rudy Giuliani’s retort to Ron Paul’s foreign policy idiocy in the debate; he characterizes Giuliani as “ever-macho” (not a compliment at the TNR office, we’d wager).

Ah, yes: That pathetic testosterone-filled Giuliani—how dare he excoriate Ron Paul!

But wait: What did Ron Paul say to earn Mayor Giuliani’s ire? Mr. Crowley helpfully quotes him: “They [Islamic terrorists] attack us because we’ve been over there. We’ve been bombing Iraq for ten years.”

It’s more than a bit pathetic that a responsible organ of left-wing opinion finds anything to esteem in Ron Paul’s odious comments. Notice that Congressman Paul did not argue that American foreign policy was amongst the factors contributing to Islamist violence. Nope, he’s much more specific: To him, the former bombing of Iraq is to blame, and therefore the US must engage in a completely isolationist foreign policy.

This is mono-causal madness: If you read the statements and writings of Osama bin Laden, you’ll note that they concern themselves with far more than contemporary American foreign policy. They cast their terrorism as part of a jihad to convert the world to Islam, and a little tussle with Saddam wasn’t likely to alter their view of “crusaders” and “Zionist pigs” very much.

But note Congressman Paul’s and, implicitly, Michael Crowley’s support for an Iraq-9/11 connection: Al Qaeda attacked the US on 9/11 because it was fed up with American treatment of Saddam’s regime. Well, well, well: There is a Saddam-9/11 connection after all.

Hold on a second: Don’t our lefty friends love to argue that—despite some evidence to the contrary—al Qaeda and Saddam had nothing in common, no bonds that would make them work together? Yet it seems that Osama bin Laden was so bothered by American treatment of Saddam that he decided to attack on 9/11.

It’s a dark day when TNR is buying into such nonsense.

Posted at May 31, 2007 12:01 AM | TrackBack