Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Sunday, May 11, 2003  

Yesterday Calpundit posted a link to a rather remarkable Washington Post article:

"The group directing all known U.S. search efforts for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq is winding down operations without finding proof that President Saddam Hussein kept clandestine stocks of outlawed arms, according to participants.

"The 75th Exploitation Task Force, as the group is formally known, has been described from the start as the principal component of the U.S. plan to discover and display forbidden Iraqi weapons. The group's departure, expected next month, marks a milestone in frustration for a major declared objective of the war."

This is both a major news story and a story about the news. The implications of not finding WMD are staggering--if not for the Bush White House at home, then for the stature of America internationally. While Americans yawned through the whole affair, it turns out it was a pretty big deal elsewhere. Even if Americans won't remember Colin Powell waving the vial, or President Bush using WMD as his very tenuous argument for a "self defence" invasion, I'm gonna go ahead and wager that the average, say, French person, will.

I spent the day with my Mom, and in the passing contact I had with the news (NPR), I didn't hear the report. Naturally, I assumed it was in error. But a search on Google finds a few news sources picking up the story. So apparently, it's true. What's really fascinating--or revealing is that in modern America, this ain't news. To tie it in to the whole election-strategy thing, it's a perfect example of how there's no accountability left in American politics. Everything is defined by an increasingly short half-life of news cycles. The President can lie to the public, invade a country on the basis of the lie, and when the lie is exposed...nothing. This is what the Democrats are up against in next year. They fail to include it in their strategy at their own peril.

posted by Jeff | 7:05 PM |
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