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Wednesday, October 13, 2004
In The New York Times today, William Safire parrots the new Fox News rationale for going to war in Iraq after the Duelfer Report: European oil companies were trying to make money in Saddam's Iraq.

As the hares zoom by, Paul Volcker, the U.N. investigative tortoise, tells his people to forget the French and Russians and to concentrate on Kofi Annan's right-hand man, Benon Sevan, and Kofi Annan's son's relationship with Cotecna, the U.N.'s see-no-evil "monitor," The White House is wringing its hands because it needs the U.N.'s blessing on the Iraqi election, and John Kerry must be praying not to be asked about this in tonight's debate.

What are they going to ask Kerry? "William Safire writes in today's New York Times, The former French ambassador to the U.N., Jean-Bernard M�rim�e, is listed as receiving vouchers for 11 million barrels of oil from Saddam, the proceeds from which would beat a diplomat's pay. Doesn't this fact change everything and make it the right war, right place, right time?"

So French energy companies are as unscrupulous as American ones. I suppose the argument is: if only the French didn't have these economic interests in Saddam's Iraq, they would have ceded the crystalline logic of the Bush administration's rationale for war. To an angry, disaffected Iraqi or Middle Eastern Arab, I imagine this argument suggests that we had to depose Saddam so that American companies could profit from Iraq instead of French ones. The question for Safire is: so how exactly does this justify the invasion of Iraq? More to the point, how does it justify Bush's justifications of the war?

Put that question to Bush then count how long it takes him after his eyes roll back in his head to pull one of his bullshit "you gotta understand, Saddam was a brutal dictator" or "we're spreading freedom and democracy" platitudes out of his ass.