I certainly didn't mean to portray Wisse, or anyone in particular, as a wingnut simply for doubting the Administration's hawkishness. As I've pointed out myself, I don't trust the Administration, nor do I feel the Administration is doing much to earn that trust. And part of my response is based on my past experience with warbloggers leading me to distinguish my own skepticism from what I beleive is a straw man argument that equates questioning the war with denying the United States should ever act in self defense. Nevertheless, I was overly broad in my statement, and I apologize for any offense it may have caused.
However, I think I'm right in trying to deconstruct what Hitchens is trying to do here. He's saying:
- War skeptics will never accept any evidence justifying an attack on Iraq. Not true; but speaking solely for myself, I do not accept the Administration's claims that it has evidence as equivalent to seeing said evidence.
- Hitchens draws a parallel between the "overwhelming evidence" of al Qaeda's connection to the Taliban and whatever goods the Administration claims it has on Iraq. If the Administration has overwhelming evidence WRT Iraq, I'd love for them to present it.
- Hitchens is implying that opposition to the Administration's use of the military is driven solely by ideology (which is, of course, why it ignores that "overwhelming evidence"). But I wouldn't imagine even Hitchens would include the Joint Chiefs of Staff as among those ideologues, yet they too have voiced concerns.
The bottom line is that Hitchens attempts to portray opposition to the war as driven by blind dogmatism. I couldn't disagree more. As Wisse points out, opposition to the military action in Afghanistan is a reasonable position. It's entirely possible that one could have basically gotten behind the action in Iraq and yet have grave doubts about Iraq. And distrust of the Administration is, I believe, not only a reasonable position but an essential response to the unprecedented powers it seeks to assume. As I've said before, when the case supporting action against Iraq is based on rampant distortions of the threat Iraq poses and the nature of the opposing arguments, the inevitable result is to be all the more skeptical.