18 May 2004

War update

The current state of WMDs, Colin Powell, and Nick Berg.


So I hear a co-worker reveling in the discovery of WMDs in Iraq today. Boy did I miss out on some big news! The ever-reliable NewsMax states:

The discovery of an Iraqi artillery shell armed with nerve gas has the liberal community and mass media in a panic.


Oh, wait a second ... where are the other reports? Is this all a big cover-up?!? Google has a group of articles covering the event, all much less rabid than that of NewsMax. Blix says it's likely just leftovers from those destroyed in '91:

There can be debris from the past and that's a very different thing from having stockpiles and supplies.

But then, who trusts Blix's opinion anyway? Let's get another assessment from The London News Review:

So, what does this mean for the coalition case for war, which painted such a vivid portrait of Saddam's WMD capabilities? Well, this find could best be described as too little too late. A single ordinance, perhaps 20 years old, giving two soldiers a bit of a sneezing fit is hardly worth celebrating as proof of Iraq's vast WMD arsenal.


BoingBoing pointed out that Lisa Rein has a clip of Colin Powell's press aide trying to shut him down during his interview on Meet The Press. (Crappy sentence structure. Try this: Colin Powell interviewed by Tim Russert on Meet The Press as recorded by Lisa Rein and discussed on BoingBoing.) After Russert asked him about the discredited information that he presented to the UN, Powell says:

It turned out that the [CIA] sourcing was ... in some cases deliberately misleading.

It doesn't sound too earth-shattering, but it's in the public record now. (Probably to be forgotten.)


I hate to even bring this up, because it feels a little like too many people on the Internet with too much time on their hands, but it may have staying power so here we go. Apparently, there's a growing conspiracy theory about Nick Berg and whether his death was staged and/or manipulated by the US military.

I know, I know ... but that's what open discussions are for. If the argument is all a bit too daft, it'll get shot down before week's end. It unfortunately may be one of those no-one-will-ever-know things.

And ironically, Berg's story gets "all of this attention" after some conservatives have complained that the "liberal media" dropped it too quickly yet obsessed over the Abu Ghraib story. Tom Tomorrow has a good assessment of that particular dementia:

To summarize: the prisoner abuse story continues to dominate the news because it is an ongoing story with many unanswered questions about the actions of our military and our government--questions of direct relevance to our democratic system. ... The Nick Berg story, by contrast, has been covered thoroughly, and we're all horrified by it--but there's just not much more there for the media to report at this point.

Final Point

American apologists insist that the events at Abu Ghraib don't represent America but are only an aberration of an otherwise honorable democracy. Critics of the Middle East insist that the terrorists are a manifestation of the narrow mindedness that is the whole of Islam and the Arab countries. Too often, those apologists and critics are the same, and when stated in isolation, these two ideas present a compelling half-truth. It's only together that we see the vagueness and absurdity.

[ posted by sstrader on 18 May 2004 at 12:15:47 AM in Culture & Society ]