New AND column out.

My new And column is out, tackling the now familiar defense of Iraq warhawkery, “the intelligence was good,” and why that isn’t a valid answer (quite aside from the number of people who ripped holes in the intel at the time).
That being said, the weakness of the intelligence around Iraq, and around the recent assassination of the cleric Anwar Awlaki, should give us pause when the White House and the FBI claim they’ve exposed a diabolical Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the US. The Christian Science Monitor, not noted for its fiery left-wing attitude, covers the flaws in this claim here. Glenn Greenwald points out that the reports are already falling into a familiar pattern——evidence is sketchy, “the United States does not have solid information about how high it goes” while the usual hawks are announcing that “I don’t know what the evidence about this is, but I’m not in a position to doubt it.” Because that worked so well last time.
As I note in the And piece, arguments that we should accept the facts without bothering to wait for evidence implicitly admit that the evidence doesn’t matter. We’ve been holding up Iran as the next Big Bad since even before we went into Iraq——it looks (as one British official noted about the Iraq intelligence) like the intel is being fixed around the policy again.
For a bonus thought, Greenwald also asks by what moral reasoning we find assassinating people overseas suddenly so offensive.
Shifting from Iran to Uganda, Rush Limbaugh finally finds an overseas intervention against terrorism he objects to: As reported here and here, he’s horrified that Obama is sending in troops to Uganda to fight the Lord’s Resistance Army on the grounds that they’re Christians battling Muslims, and specifically state their goal is to fight dictatorship and oppression.
In practice, this particular bunch of revolutionaries is about as Christian as Torquemada and the Salem witch hunters (details at the links). As the Think Progress link points out, that doesn’t mean we should be intervening in yet another nation, but it hardly suggests opposing them represents an anti-Christian stance. At least to anyone who isn’t Limbaugh.

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