March 06, 2003

Hamlet on the Hudson The

Hamlet on the Hudson

The NYT continues its tortured series of "should we, shouldn't we" mastheads. This latest one appears to be more in the "shouldn't" camp. The Times sounds very de Villepinian when its opines: "Though Saddam Hussein is far from full disarmament, he has given ground in recent months by permitting the return of arms inspectors after a four-year absence and, more recently, by beginning to destroy illegal missiles. With more time and an escalation of pressure, Mr. Hussein might yet buckle."

More offensive, in my view, is this language: "Mr. Bush and his team laid the groundwork for this mess with their arrogant handling of other nations and dismissive attitude toward international accords. Though they mended their ways to some extent after Sept. 11, and initially tried to work through the Security Council on Iraq, the White House's obvious intention to go to war undermined that effort." [my emphasis]

Was the "obvious intention to go to war" the September 12th speech outlining to Saddam how he could avoid military action through the most multilateral forum in the world? Was it when the Administration gave him yet another chance in December, after the patently false recycled 12,000 pages of omission and deception? Or was this jingostic tendency most apparent during the latest February rigamarole when we were treated to Blixian progress reports about ratios of minders to inspector "improving" from 5:1 to about 1:1, how the Baathists was passing new laws banning WMD (yippie!), or how a South African delegation was travelling to Baghdad to advise the Iraqis on how to disarm (first thing Saddam, don't hide the WMD and refrain from spying on the inspectors so as to determine their movements!)?

As the American Scene pointed out in a little gem: "A priceless line from....[a recent] New York Times story on the Iraq debate: "The Iraqi government told the United Nations that it would provide a new report on the destruction of its VX nerve gas and anthrax stocks within a week, Mr. Ueki said. Why it failed to include that information in its 'final' report in December is unclear ...Unclear to whom, exactly?"

I guess still unclear to Dominique, but not to Colin, it increasingly appears.

Powell: "Has Saddam Hussein made a strategic, political decision to comply with the United Nations Security Council resolutions?" Mr. Powell asked, in tones of what seemed to be exasperation. "That's the question. There is no other question. Everything else is secondary or tertiary. That's the issue."

Posted by Gregory at March 6, 2003 10:29 AM
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