While we’re not in the business of questioning motive, The Post’s Robert D. Novak’s work in the past few weeks has had a familiar ring to it. Whispers of background plots and internecine “dilemmas,” and, most of all, an eager use of the politics of fear. Karl would be proud. But finer folks than us have already made quick work of the Rove’s puppeteering of Novak. More interesting to us are passages like this:
>Democrats want to assume a strong anti-terrorist position while deploring U.S. military action against Iran as it develops nuclear weapons. While the prospect of such an attack before Bush leaves office is reviled on the left, no Democrat can be seen as soft on an Islamist Iranian regime whose president denies the Holocaust and calls for the destruction of Israel. The trick is to condemn both Dick Cheney and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Beyond the fact that, once again, this sounds very familiar, is this fact: repetition does not cash out to truth. Just because every parrot-teacher in the Rovian cabal prattles on about Iranian nuclear weapons does not mean such things actually exist, or that the technology to produce them exists in Iran, or that the technology to produce the technology to produce them exists in Iran. In fact, Rove’s Iraq War patsy, as well as the International Institute for Strategic Studies, argue that the claim of Iran possessing, or being able to possess, a nuclear weapon within the decade is patently false. This troubles his second claim. The trick is not to “condemn” anyone; the trick is disengage ourselves from a costly, dishonestly premised, and pointless war of conquest while not engaging ourselves in yet another costly, dishonestly premised, and pointless war of conquest. But far be it from Novak, in a fit of Rovian excess and bile, to let the facts intrude.