I’ve been reading Suskind’s new book, the title of which refers to the doctrine Cheney adopted after 9/11 — essentially that if there’s a one percent chance that someone might do something terrible, the administration must act as if it is a certainty.
It takes a little while for the horror of that to sink in, but when you really think about it, it effectively means that this country has been governed by complete madmen for the past five years. Life is all about making reasonable decisions based on probable odds. In retrospect, it’s what I was trying to say in this cartoon, back in January of 2003. If there was a one percent chance that the moon might crash into the earth someday, we would, as rational people, respond differently than if the odds were at one hundred percent, or even fifty percent. We would monitor the problem, consider options. We would not make it the single most pressing issue of the day.
You would have to be literally insane to suggest blowing up the moon immediately because there was a one percent chance that it might crash into the earth someday.
But as Suskind tells it, this is what the entire Iraq War has been about. All the tragedy, all the blood spilled, all the ensuing chaos — all because there was a one percent chance that Saddam might help terrorists someday.