September 14, 2003

Clarifications Department A couple bloggers

Clarifications Department

A couple bloggers have taken me to task about one aspect of my attempted rebuttal of Andrew Sullivan's flypaper argument.

Through clumsy drafting, my post made it appear that I believed that Bill Clinton pulled out of Lebanon after the Marine barracks bombing in 1983. Of course, this happened during Ronald Reagan's administration. I was actually making two separate points and, in no way, meant to suggest Clinton pulled us out of Lebanon. Here's what I wrote:

"To be sure, the fact that al-Qaeda is opening up a front in Iraq is worrisome and we certainly need to soundly defeat them there. But note, it's just one front, among many others. Sure, al-Qaeda knows that killing over 200 U.S. GIs in a massive bombing in Iraq would have a major impact on the American psyche akin to the Marine barracks bombing in Beirut in the '80's. They think (but are wrong, because someone like Dubya rather than Clinton is in office) that such an attack might push the U.S. out of Iraq. They would doubtless love to pull such an operation off."

My point on speculating that al-Qaeda would love to pull off an attack (like that which occurred in Beirut in 1983) in Baghdad today was that, despite my attempted debunking of the flypaper argument, I nevertheless believe al-Qaeda views Iraq as a key front. And that we therefore need to be very cautious re: terrorist dangers, similar in nature to what took place in Lebanon, occurring there.

My point on Clinton was meant as a veiled reference to Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo and the like where Clinton displayed a hyper-reticence to U.S. casualties. In short, I didn't mean to suggest that Clinton pulled us out of Lebanon but my wording made it appear so.

I apologize for the confusion.

Posted by Gregory at September 14, 2003 10:43 PM
Comments

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