Live by the word

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November 9, 2003 8:53 pm
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Live by the word game, die by the <$NoAd$>word game.

Andrew Sullivan arguing that no one said the threat was imminent (emphasis added) …

We can fight over words in this way, but the fundamental reality also undermines Marshall’s case. The point about 9/11 is that it showed that we were in a new world where we could be attacked by shadowy groups with little warning. The point about Saddam is that he was a sworn enemy of the U.S., had been known to develop an arsenal of WMDs, was in a position to arm terrorists in a devastating way, and any president had to weigh the risk of him staying in power in that new climate. The actual threat hangs over us all the time. It is unlike previous threats from foreign powers. It is accountable to no rules and no ethics. We know it will give us no formal warning. But we cannot know it is “imminent”.

Webster’s, well-known dictionary manufacturer, defining ‘imminent’ …

Main Entry: im•mi•nent
Pronunciation: ‘i-m&-n&nt
Function: adjective
Etymology: Latin imminent-, imminens, present participle of imminEre to project, threaten, from in- + -minEre (akin to Latin mont-, mons mountain) — more at MOUNT
Date: 1528
: ready to take place; especially : hanging threateningly over one’s head (was in imminent danger of being run over)
– im•mi•nent•ly adverb

Some curveballs hang too temptingly over the plate.

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