December 18, 2003


Remember 'Weapons of Mass Destruction'?: For Bush, They Are a Nonissue (RICHARD W. STEVENSON, 12/18/03, NY Times)

In the debate over the necessity for the war in Iraq, few issues have been more contentious than whether Saddam Hussein possessed arsenals of banned weapons, as the Bush administration repeatedly said, or instead was pursuing weapons programs that might one day constitute a threat.

On Tuesday, with Mr. Hussein in American custody and polls showing support for the White House's Iraq policy rebounding, Mr. Bush suggested that he no longer saw much distinction between the possibilities.

"So what's the difference?" he responded at one point as he was pressed on the topic during an interview by Diane Sawyer of ABC News.

To critics of the war, there is a big difference.

Here's one more of the beneficial effects of pulling a living Saddam (or his look-alike) out of that hole: Howard Dean and the other anti-war folks ask us to believe that squirrely dude was trustworthy and sane enough that we could accept his assurances he wouldn't use WMD anymore.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 18, 2003 8:41 PM

The truth is that most "critics" of the war are too intellectually dishonest to merit the Tony Blair treatment: to bite the bait, to give an honest, punctillious reply, only to see the questioner declare the answer "spin", and move on to the next "criticism".

W is more basic. He could have said, instead, of "what's the difference", that "BOTH possession and development of WMD were prohibited by the UN..." (which indeed shows there is NO difference). But this would have only elicited a, "well, but the UN never did...". Put like that, "what's the difference is as close to F...You as one can get, and quite appropriate, in my book.

Posted by: MG at December 18, 2003 9:01 PM

Durned if I can see any difference.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at December 19, 2003 12:37 AM

I'll take the "where are the WMDs" position seriously as soon as they mention aflatoxin, a biological agent with NO military uses that can be sprayed on crops and yield cancer 10-20 years later. The media has rarely, if ever, even mentioned this. Iraq was testing UAVs with spraying mechanisms. Hmmmmm.

Or smallpox - remember when we were worried about that? Not any more! The Democrats have decided it was not an issue!

See this testimony by Richard Spertzel and try not to get the chills.

Just because the Bush Administration doesn't mention these things as much as they might doesn't relieve reporters of the duty of doing it.

Yet another reason why I hate the media.

Posted by: Jeff Brokaw at December 19, 2003 7:53 AM

If Iraq settles down a bit, which seems likely, all of the attention paid to missing WMD by the eventual Dem candidate will be preaching to the choir. Few undecided voters are likely to care that the stated primary reason for war with Iraq didn't pan out, only that we won.
Everybody who can be convinced by a WMD argument, already has been.

Also, WMD might be found, or "found".

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at December 19, 2003 12:05 PM