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Lost credibility should not be taken lightly

What others say

Posted: Thursday, January 20, 2005

Nearly two years into the war to rid Iraq of its alleged ''weapons of mass destruction,'' the Bush administration officially called off the search for them last week. ''Based on what we know today, the president would have taken the same action (to invade) because this is about protecting the American people,'' said White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan. ''Protect them from what?'' would be a fair question, given that no such WMDs were found and that the president made those WMDs the primary justification for his decision to preemptively attack.

To be fair, Bush's predecessor also believed Iraq had WMDs, and Saddam did a pretty good job of pretending, too. Beyond that, the American people have already issued their judgment. In November it didn't seem to matter much, at least to most voters, that there had been no satisfactory explanation for how a president could put so many American lives at risk based upon intelligence information that had proven so utterly, and in some cases tragically, wrong.

... Global opinion does matter, maybe not today or tomorrow, but someday when we're staring down another potential menace — perhaps one far more potent than Saddam — and we ask for the world's help.

What kind of ''moral authority'' will America have then? It's another fair question.

— Journal Star (Peoria, Ill.)

Jan. 16



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