I believe that you may be getting sucked into a semantic pissing contest with the argument over whether or not Iraq presented an ‘imminent threat’ or not.
The bottom line is this: The administration attacked Iraq. It did so either believing (without justification) that there was an imminent threat or not believing that there was an imminent threat.
The apologists’ ‘explanation’ actually makes Bush look worse. If he attacked a nation that he felt did not present an imminent threat, then he is an acknowledged war criminal, is he not?
I think David Y. is right. Andrew Sullivan in particular is very good at whipping up these online hysterias. Those of you who follow the blogs may remember last summer, when Sullivan declared that All Must Blog About Iran on a Specific Day, and those who did not were freedom-hating miscreants who secretly support the mullahs, or some such nonsense. (How’d that ever turn out, anyway? Since the regime remains intact, I assume Andy’s been on this on a daily basis, trying to change the world through blogging, yes? Certainly it wasn’t just the cudgel of the moment with which to whack his perceived enemies, tossed aside like a child’s plaything once he became bored?)
And yes isn’t the logical conclusion of the “imminent” argument the admission that Bush is a war criminal? Nice going, spinmeisters! Way to put the critics in their place!