Josh Marshall, who concluded that he supports military action against Iraq, noted the same problem. For a number of warbloggers, it isn't even a question. Bush is Good and Saddam is Evil and therefore nothing Bush says could be anything other than The Right Thing, and With Purest of Motives to boot.
For Kinsley, Marshall, and myself, the question isn't so easy. Warbloggers love to deride the no-war-under-any-circumstances crowd--if it is a "crowd"--but their response to factual challenges tends to be either deafening silence or a repetition of the orignal assertion. No one doubts that Saddam is a bad man, but the question remains, why should the American people simply trust Administration's assurances that they have the goods when they refuse to provide them?
Just as a for-instance: Bush himself recently alleged ties between al Qaeda and Iraq. Now, I don't doubt that members of al Qaeda are in Iraq now. There are credible reports of groups in northern Iraq (where, of course, Saddam has little authority thanks to the no-fly zones). There are also groups of al Qaeda in Iran, Pakistan, and allegedly even the United States. I'm tired of the Administration hinting at connections or implying that some al Qaeda members hiding there implies a cozy relationship between Saddam and bin Laden's group. If you have the evidence, let's see it. Put up or shut up.
I've been meaning to draw a parallel between Administration policy and the Cuban Missile Crisis. In 1962, the United States and the Soviet Union very nearly went to nuclear war overthe stationing of ballistic missiles in Cuba. In this speech, President Kennedy called the presence of missiles in Cuba a "clear and present danger" and demanded that the Soviets withdraw them, going so far as to throw a blockade around the island. Kennedy produced surveillance photos that demonstrated the missiles' existence.
No military attack had been launched, of course, but the threat posed--a clear and present danger--justified the US military response. Bush's recent UN speech called Iraq a "grave and gathering danger," which to me indicates that even he couldn't call it "clear and present" with a straight face. His new doctrine of preemption demands the strictest scrutiny and utmost candor from the Administration. The fact that such has not seemed to be forthcoming doesn't seem to matter to the warbloggers, but it should.