This morning while interviewing Howard Dean:
MR. RUSSERT: Dr. Rice said that Saddam Hussein was the most dangerous regime in the world.
Well, yes and no, Tim.
Earlier in the show, discussing Iraq’s status:
MR. RUSSERT: More dangerous than North Korea?
DR. RICE: I think more dangerous than North Korea because–and it’s not that North Korea isn’t dangerous. Don’t get me wrong. It’s dangerous. But look at where he sits. He sits in the Middle East. This is someone that we had gone to war against in 1991 because he attacked and invaded his neighbor, Kuwait, and people were worried that he was on his way to Saudi Arabia. This is someone who in 1998 President Clinton used airpower and cruise missiles against because he said we can’t allow him to sit there with his weapons of mass destruction. Yes, the most dangerous regime in the world’s most dangerous region.
Part of Iraq’s threat to the world is its location. A beautiful ten bedroom mansion isn’t the beat-all if it’s sitting in the middle of a cornfield in Nebraska. A modest four bedroom rancher is worth millions if it’s sitting in downtown Chicago or overlooking the ocean.
If North Korea were in the heart of the Middle East and Iraq were on a peninsula on the Pacific edge of Asia, we would have troops in North Korea today, not Iraq. Rice made it clear that Iraq’s location, geographically and politically, made it more of a threat than the DPRK. Tossing Dean a softball worded that way isn’t really constructive, and Russert should know better.
And why is Howard Dean even on Meet the Press?