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WaPo’s Robinson Takes Cheney Out of Context

MB reader Tom W. catches Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson mangling a quote from Dick Cheney:

This passage in today’s op-ed in the Washington Post by Eugene Robinson might be worth a mention:

Okay, one more from Cheney. To those who point out that Iraq wasn’t a nexus of terrorism until we invaded, Cheney responds, “They overlook a fundamental fact: We were not in Iraq on September 11th, 2001, and the terrorists hit us anyway.”

 

Huh? The terrorists who attacked on Sept. 11 didn’t come from Iraq. Except in Cheney’s mind, I don’t know where the fact that we were attacked by terrorists trained in Afghanistan (and sent by Osama bin Laden, who’s probably now in Pakistan) somehow mitigates the fact that we’ve made Iraq a hotbed of terrorism.

Now look at the referenced quote in context:

I know some have suggested that by liberating Iraq from Saddam Hussein, we simply stirred up a hornet’s nest. They overlook a fundamental fact: We were not in Iraq on September 11th, 2001, and the terrorists hit us anyway. As President Bush has said, the hatred of the radicals existed before Iraq was an issue, and it will exist after Iraq is no longer an excuse.

Robinson completely misread and misrepresented Cheney’s point (intentionally perhaps). The VP was not linking the 9/11 attacks to Iraq or even commenting on the increased presence of Al Qaeda in post-Saddam Iraq.  He was instead responding to critics who claim that the war in Iraq will motivate future terrorism by pointing out that the 9/11 attacks occurred in the absence of the alleged rallying effect of the American occupation of Iraq.  Seems to me that Robinson should know better.

Some people will never accept the argument that confronting Iraq was an essential part of dealing with the threat from Islamic radicalism.

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