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The War and the House Divided By: Andrew C. McCarthy
NationalReview.com | Wednesday, July 09, 2008

In early 2002, right after the State of the Union Address in which President George W. Bush famously linked Saddam Hussein’s tyrannical Iraqi regime in an “axis of evil” with the rogue governments of Iran and North Korea. On a dais at the influential Council on Foreign Relations, the man whom Bush had defeated in the historically contentious 2000 election strode to the podium and delivered, of all things, a spirited defense of his nemesis.

“As far as I’m concerned,” Al Gore declaimed, “there really is something to be said for occasionally putting diplomacy aside and laying one's cards on the table. There is value in calling evil by its name.” Recalling the Clinton administration’s fitful, feckless, and futile attempts to rein in the Iraqi dictator’s terror mongering and quest for weapons of mass destruction, the former vice president described Iraq as “a virulent threat in a class by itself.” As war clouds hovered, he darkly rued the U.S. failure to remove Saddam in 1991, boldly insisting that “failure cannot be an option, which means that we must be prepared to go the limit.”

As David Horowitz and Ben Johnson recount in their bracing new book, Party of Defeat, Democrats and their favorite Nobel laureates (Jimmy Carter having earned that distinction before Gore) certainly have been prepared to go to the limit on Iraq — that is, the outer limit of shame, and shamelessness.

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Andrew C. McCarthy is director of the Center for Law & Counterterrorism at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

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