The universality of war rhetoric

Questioning the Iraq War helped Saddam. Questioning the Libya War helps Gadaffi

Topics: Libya,

(updated below – Update II)

In 2004, a cowardly anonymous Bush official notoriously attacked House Democrats who were Iraq War critics and were attempting to impose limits on the war, accusing them of helping Saddam:

And I think, astoundingly, there is a move in the House of Representatives to take an effort as it relates to the ongoing effort to stop a tyrant in Iraq and to turn it into a political football in such a way here as to give, at a critical time — potentially send a very negative signal to the leadership of that country, which, as we all know, has over the course of time carried out hateful and heinous attacks against U.S. citizens, including terrorist attacks.

Oh, I’m sorry.  My mistake: replace ”Iraq” with “Libya,” and that’s actually a quote from a cowardly “senior” Obama official — quoted in an article from The Hill this morning entitled ”Obama’s aggravation with Congress over Libya on display” — anonymously accusing defiant members of Congress of aiding Gadaffi by sending him “a very negative signal.”  If you question the war in Libya or even seek a democratic debate over it, then, of course, it means that you are indifferent to the suffering of Iraqis under Saddam Libyans under Gadaffi (except, presumably, for these — and these).


UPDATE:  In his column for the American Enterprise Institute today, John Yoo accuses President Obama of transgressing the proper limits of executive power by asserting the right to wage war in Libya without Congress.


UPDATE II:  Hillary Clinton today chimes in with her own version of You’re-either-with-us-or-with-the-Terrorists:

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is questioning the priorities of lawmakers criticizing the U.S. intervention in Libya.

She’s asking bluntly, ‘”Whose side are you on?”

You’re either pro-war or pro-Saddam — pro-war or pro-Gaddafi.  Whose side are you on?

Glenn Greenwald

Follow Glenn Greenwald on Twitter: @ggreenwald.

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