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After my interview with Joe Klein last week, long time Klein watchers sent me their favorite Klein quotes.  Here are the best pair of Joe then and now:
Joe Klein Now
“Many leading Democrats even gave Bush the authority to invade Iraq, although most did so, I suspect, for reasons of political expediency. One of the most convincing arguments offered by the bloggers is that the Democratic establishment should have been far more skeptical than it was about a pre-emptive, nearly unilateral assault on an Islamic country. In 2004 Bush and Karl Rove managed to flummox the Democrats by conflating the war in Iraq with the war against al-Qaeda and insisting that any Democratic reservations about Iraq were a sign of weakness. This was infuriating. It was Bush’s disastrous decision to go to war — and worse, to go to war with insufficient resources — that transformed Iraq into a terrorist Valhalla.”
— “Three Cheers for Triangulation,” Time magazine, August 21, 2006
Joe Klein Then
Joe Klein: This is a really tough decision [whether or not to go to war against Iraq]. War may well be the right decision at this point. In fact, I think it — it’s — it probably is.
Tim Russert: Now that’s twice you’ve said that: “It’s the right war.” You believe it’s the wrong time. Why do you think it’s the right war?

Klein: Because sooner or later, this guy has to be taken out. Saddam has — Saddam Hussein has to be taken out.

Russert: Why?

Klein: He has been defying the world for 12 years. It is very clear — I mean, I — I — I haven’t found anybody who doesn’t believe that he’s hiding stuff there. And if there’s going to be a civilized world order, the — the world has to be able to act on its — you know, on — on — on its agreements. And –and there have been now 17 UN resolutions calling on this guy to disarm, a — something that he agreed to do, and at certain — at a certain point, you have to enforce it.

Now you can quibble with the fact, you can argue with the fact that the Bush administration forced this judgment at this time in this way, but I think — and — but I — but I do believe that it was Bill Clinton’s moral responsibility and responsibility as leader of the country to do it in 1998, as we — as we were saying before. And — and I think that now that we’ve reached this point, where the inspectors are in and it has become absolutely manifestly clear that he’s not going to abide by this — you know, just look at his behavior in the days since the peace protests. All of a sudden, you know, he’s –he’s — you know, he’s defiant again.

So I think that, you know, the — the message has to be sent because if it isn’t sent now, if we don’t do this now, it empowers every would-be Saddam out there and every would-be terrorist out there.

— Tim Russert’s CNBC program, February 22, 2003 (emphasis added)


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