A letter to The Guardian
In your piece today on VP Cheney’s speech at the American Enterprise Institute, you made a couple of strange assertions. I was hoping if you might clarify them for me.
You said that Cheney’s remarks represented a "change in tactics" which "reflected an acknowledgment that the White House had stumbled in its attempt to slow momentum towards a quick withdrawal by targeting its advocates rather than their arguments." But at no point did you establish, or even attempt to establish, that a strategy of targeting people personally rather than their arguments had been adopted by the White House. I am a fairly keen watcher of the US political scene, and I am unaware of any reason to think that such a strategy had ever been employed, and therefore no reason to think that Cheney’s comments represented a "change in tactics". What evidence is there that the White House had been targeting the advocates of an immediate pullout personally rather than taking on their arguments (such as they are)?
You also said that "The vice-president tried to make a distinction between its critics. He called a truce in the war of words with those who wanted a quick withdrawal, but escalated the attack on those who accuse senior officials of deliberately exaggerating the threat posed by Saddam Hussein."
Why "tried"? Isn’t it a fact that he did make a distinction? The implication of your wording is that he drew a distinction where none exists. Is it the position of The Guardian that there is no relevant distinction to be drawn between those who criticize the president’s war policy and those who accuse him of lying?
Lastly, why do you characterize Cheney’s statements as an "attack"? Isn’t he in fact defending the administration from the initial attacks by Democrats who claim the administration lied the country into war?
Any answers you might have would be much appreciated.
The American Expatriate