Alert reader Z, who is not ill-informed, had a pithy reaction to my
that if Gore had won in 2000 he wouldn't have invaded Iraq after 9/11:
Gore would have invaded Iraq, or he would have lost in 2004 to...George W. Bush, who would have invaded Iraq. Similarly, had Bush refused to consider invading Iraq in 2002, Gore would have come out for it, would have been the nominee and would have beat Bush in 2004.
Z thinks "Dems were desperate for a military issue to get to the right of the Repubs, and Iraq would have been perfect." ... Hmmm. I tend to think that even if President Gore had wanted to invade Iraq after 9/11 he wouldn't have been strongheaded enough. But he is friends with Marty Peretz. And it's easy to forget how strong the pro-war CFR consensus was in 2002. ...
As for whether Gore would have mounted a successful pro-war challenge to Bush if Bush won and hadn't invaded--well, Gore would have to win the Dem primaries first. How would that have been possible on a pro-war platform? ... The one "Z" scenario I have trouble discounting is a) Gore wins b) doesn't invade c) loses in 2004 to Bush d) who invades. ... 4:27 P.M.