“Glenn reminds me that it was the anthrax attacks that took the post-9/11 sense of threat to a whole new level — and moved the Iraq invasion forward as a possible response. That we now think the threat was actually a domestic source with no connection with Islamism is a critical piece of historical adjustment.”
Speaking of “historical adjustment,” this seems like as good a time as any to remind Senor Sullivan that he did more than his part in moving forward the idea that we ought to invade Iraq as a response to the anthrax attacks. Here‘s what he wrote at the time:
“The sophisticated form of anthrax delivered to Tom Daschle’s office forces us to ask a simple question. What are these people trying to do? I think they’re testing the waters. They want to know how we will respond to what is still a minor biological threat, as a softener to a major biological threat in the coming weeks. They must be encouraged by the panic-mongering of the tabloids, Hollywood and hoaxsters. They must also be encouraged by the fact that some elements in the administration already seem to be saying we need to keep our coalition together rather than destroy the many-headed enemy. So the terrorists are pondering their next move. The chilling aspect of the news in the New York Times today is that the terrorists clearly have access to the kind of anthrax that could be used against large numbers of civilians. My hopes yesterday that this was a minor attack seem absurdly naïve in retrospect. So they are warning us and testing us. At this point, it seems to me that a refusal to extend the war to Iraq is not even an option. We have to extend it to Iraq. It is by far the most likely source of this weapon; it is clearly willing to use such weapons in the future; and no war against terrorism of this kind can be won without dealing decisively with the Iraqi threat. We no longer have any choice in the matter.”
Sullivan didn’t stop there, however: back then, you’ll remember, he was railing against the “ fifth column” on “both coasts” that was supposedly sympathetic to bin Laden, and he was pining – aching – for a “muscular” response, one that would deal a decisive blow to what he termed “Islamofascism”:
“Slowly, incrementally, a Rubicon has been crossed. The terrorists have launched a biological weapon against the United States. They have therefore made biological warfare thinkable and thus repeatable. We once had a doctrine that such a Rubicon would be answered with a nuclear response. We backed down on that threat in the Gulf War but Saddam didn’t dare use biological weapons then. Someone has dared to use them now. Our response must be as grave as this new threat.”
Sullivan didn’t just want to invade Iraq – he wanted to nuke the entire country. On the basis, I might add, of exactly zero evidence that the Iraqis were behind the anthrax letters – the same lack of evidence which the FBI, today, considers sufficient to convict Bruce Ivins of that crime.
It’s one thing to have been for the war, and then seen the light: it’s quite another, however, to have advocated genocide, and then pretend it never happened. Fess up, Andy — or shut up.