Lewis Lapham, editor of Harper's, perhaps best known for his scathing review of the 2004 Republican Convention (before it happened!
), surprises nobody with a call for impeachment
. Of course, the idiots on the Left
are claiming that this represents something significant, the first "mainstream" source to endorse the "I" word.
Lapham bases most of his case on the fact that Bush intended to invade Iraq and topple Saddam even before 9-11. Indeed, he expends a great deal of energy on this aspect of the "Case for Impeachment".That President George W. Bush comes to power with the intention of invading Iraq is a fact not open to dispute. Pleased with the image of himself as a military hero, and having spoken, more than once, about seeking revenge on Saddam Hussein for the tyrant's alleged attempt to “kill my Dad,” he appoints to high office in his administration a cadre of warrior intellectuals, chief among them Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, known to be eager for the glories of imperial conquest. At the first meeting of the new National Security Council on January 30, 2001, most of the people in the room discuss the possibility of preemptive blitzkrieg against Baghdad. In March the Pentagon circulates a document entitled “Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oil Field Contracts”; the supporting maps indicate the properties of interest to various European governments and American corporations. Six months later, early in the afternoon of September 11, the smoke still rising from the Pentagon's western facade, Secretary Rumsfeld tells his staff to fetch intelligence briefings (the “best info fast...go massive; sweep it all up; things related and not”) that will justify an attack on Iraq. By chance the next day in the White House basement, Richard A. Clarke, national coordinator for security and counterterrorism, encounters President Bush, who tells him to “see if Saddam did this.” Nine days later, at a private dinner upstairs in the White House, the President informs his guest, the British prime minister, Tony Blair, that “when we have dealt with Afghanistan, we must come back to Iraq.”
Now the funny thing is, that most Republicans (and liberal/leftist war supporters) do accept that Bush intended to invade Iraq and topple Saddam. Indeed, only yesterday I linked
to a piece by Christopher Hitchens
which read in part:The charge that used to be leveled against the neoconservatives was that they had wanted to get rid of Saddam Hussein (pause for significant lowering of voice) even before Sept. 11, 2001. And that "accusation," as Fukuyama well knows, was essentially true—and to their credit.
So, Lewis, we'll grant that point. But if Bush intended to invade Iraq prior to 9-11, there are two basic possible reasons. One, which Lapham embraces, is that Saddam tried to kill George Bush, Sr. The other, of course, is that Saddam had been continually in violation of UN Security Council Resolutions, and that he needed to be removed from power.
A big problem with the Harper's article is that it relies heavily on a report prepared by John Conyers. Conyers, of course, is very careless with the truth; it was another report of his on the 2004 election
that contained the bogus claim that Miami County, Ohio, had a 98.55% turnout in that election. Of course, Conyers (and Paul Krugman, who repeated the claim
) were wrong; it was one small precinct in Miami County that had that extraordinary turnout. The county as a whole only had 72.3% turnout, which was far from unusual.