Politics starts at the water’s edge

When Kevin Drum pointed to the NBC News story about the Bushites having passed up a chance to bag a major terrorist group in the fall of 2002, appparently in order to avoid weakening political support for the eventual invasion of Iraq, I didn’t comment because I didn’t have anything to say that wasn’t obvious, and expected to see an avalanche of commentary from people more knowledgeable than I am.

But aside from Fabius at Tacitus, who thinks there is no longer any reason, after this story, for War on Terror hawks to vote for Bush, I’ve seen virtually no mention of what I would have expected to be a major scandal.

Another story Kevin noticed that no one else seems to have picked up: the Bush team is asking the Sharon goverment to stall on withdrawing from Gaza until after the elections, because they’re worried that violence unleashed by the withdrawal might be bad for Bush’s popularity.

Given the level of cynicism-in-action now prevailing at 1600 Penn., what amazes me is that there isn’t more Bush-hatred out in the country. Part of the explanation, I think, is that Bush and his cronies do so many awful things that it’s hard to keep track.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

One thought on “Politics starts at the water’s edge”

  1. A Missed Chance to Kill Abu Musab Zarqawi?

    There seems to be much concern about this MSNBC report regarding plans to kill Zarqawi in Iraq in 2002. I don't think we can talk about the decision not to attack the camp in Iraq without looking at the context….

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