Permissible Arms

History, by which I mean a fortnight ago.

Posted in iraq by Karaka on 15 September 2009

On the plane ride eastward, I caught up on a couple newscasts of the Rachel Maddow show, which is by and large my favorite televised news program outside of The Daily Show and Bill Maher. It is possible that I lean somewhat to the left.

Maddow is a skilled interviewer, and I’m impressed that she not only scored an interview with Tom Ridge (on the occasion of his new book, The Test of Our Times) but kept him in his seat for forty minutes answering question after uncomfortable, pointedly polite question.

Tom Ridge has a pretty clear tell for when he’s saying something he doesn’t actually believe. He sniffs with the right side of his face. After every single answer, when he reversed on something he wrote in his book, or tried to maintain a position that was dated two years ago, he gave his little sniff. I’m not sure what I found more disheartening–the fact that he didn’t believe the words he was saying or the fact that he said them anyway.

The below clip, where Ridge maintains that even though WMD were false, invading Iraq to establish a democracy made that invasion worthwhile (and Rachel baldly refuting that) is perhaps the most difficult part of the interview to watch, yet also the most important. It’s worth tracking down the rest of the interview, which you can find at The Rachel Maddow Show website and searching for “ridge.”

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