August 30, 2006

The WaPo had a good, front-page piece today on the White House's latest "major public-relations offensive" on Iraq, and included a couple of tidbits that haven't been reported elsewhere.

In particular, the Post noted the repeated use of straw-men arguments emanating from the administration, and did what reporters should do far more often: asked the Bush gang to back it up.

Bush suggested last week that Democrats are promising voters to block additional money for continuing the war. Vice President Cheney this week said critics "claim retreat from Iraq would satisfy the appetite of the terrorists and get them to leave us alone." And Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, citing passivity toward Nazi Germany before World War II, said that "many have still not learned history's lessons" and "believe that somehow vicious extremists can be appeased."

Pressed to support these allegations, the White House yesterday could cite no major Democrat who has proposed cutting off funds or suggested that withdrawing from Iraq would persuade terrorists to leave Americans alone. (emphasis added)

In other words, Bush & Co. made it up. Asked to support their own public arguments with a single example, they couldn't. When Bush, Cheney, and other administration officials say that "some" people prefer appeasement, or want to negotiate with terrorists, or believe terrorists aren't a threat, they are — surprise, surprise — berating critics who exist solely in their imaginations. I suppose it is easier than debating actual opponents....

-- Guest Post by Steve Benen, The Carpetbagger Report

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