Daily Archives: January 13, 2005

“No Particular News”

The world little noted, but at some point late last year the American search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq ended.

And why, praytell, was this so “little noted” by the world ? Surely the New York Times would know. But as always with the “newspaper of record” speech proceeds from tactical omission, as this editorial demonstrates in typically disingenuous NYT style.

We will, however, long remember the doomsday warnings from the Bush administration about mushroom clouds and sinister aluminum tubes; the breathless reports from TV correspondents when the invasion began, speculating on when the “smoking gun” would be unearthed; our own failures to deconstruct all the spin and faulty intelligence.

“Our own,” being, of course “reporter” Judith Miller, whose repeated insistence that her “sources” were “damned right” about Saddam Hussein’s enormous cache of deadly weapons (both chemical and nuclear) and his long-range plans to use them against the United States and Great Britian produced reams of copy.

All of it packed full of blatant, easily proven lies.

The search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq may have been one of the greatest nonevents of the early 21st century, right up there with the failure of the world’s computers to crash at the end of the last millennium. That Y2K scare at least brought us an updated Internet. Fear of the nonexistent W.M.D. brought us a war.

Well I for one wouldn’t call this war a “non-event.” And neither would the thousands of Iraqis we mercilessly slaughtered in “shock and awe” and its torture-ridden aftermath.

Even after most of the sites were searched, the places that had been identified in spy photos as sinister weapons-production sites had been shown to be chicken coops, and the scary reports about nuclear weapons ready to be detonated proved to be the fantasies of feckless intelligence analysts, die-hard supporters of the invasion insisted that something would turn up. This proves once again the difficulties of debunking hard-held convictions: Mr. Bush did such a good job selling the weapons-hunting nostrum that 40 percent of Americans recently said the weapons were there.

And who helped Mr. Bush do “such a good job”? Why the New York Times of course. But we’re supposed to forget about that, aren’t we?

The fact that nothing was found does not absolutely, positively prove that there wasn’t something there once, something that was disassembled and trucked over the border to Syria or buried in yet another Iraqi rose garden.

“Yet another rose garden”? The dissembling grows more feverish even as it seeks to cover its tracks. “The fact that nothing was found” means that nothing was there. Only in Judy Millerville does absence equal presence, does 1-1=3. After all, a man in a basball cap pointed to where they were in some field or other, and that was good enough for Judy, hence good enough for the NYT — and thus supposedly you.

But it’s not the sort of possibility you’d want to fight a war over. What all our loss and pain and expense in the Iraqi invasion has actually proved is that the weapons inspections worked, that international sanctions – deeply, deeply messy as they turned out to be – worked, and that in the case of Saddam Hussein, the United Nations worked. Whatever the Hussein regime once had is gone because the international community insisted. It was all destroyed a decade ago, under world pressure.

Got that? “It was all destroyed a decade ago.” Gee, that’s what I thought. That’s what countless others, who weren’t asleep during “Operation Desert Storm” thought too. But then we were required to unthink it. The NYT said we should.

This is not a lesson that many people in power in Washington are prepared to carry away, but it is what the national adventure in the reckless doctrine of preventive warfare has to teach us.

No, it’s what the anti-war movement, that the NYT shows nothing but icy contempt, has to teach the ruling classes and their media lackeys.

Anyone with any sense, knew this from the start.

Anyone with any sense knew that Judy Miller’s man in the baseball cap was a liar.

And while the NYT and every other supposedly trustworthy outlet wasted our time and insulted our intelligence ,
Another man in a baseball cap had the goods. Luckily he was able to get them into theaters and onto home video.

Needless to say, he’s widely reviled by the liars and whores in charge of manufacturing the “news.”

The findings issued last fall by the Iraq Survey Group, which concluded that the W.M.D. threat did not exist in Iraq when Mr. Bush decided to go to war, will apparently stand as its final conclusions. The Washington Post reported that the leader of the search team, Charles Duelfer, is working on some additions that will be included when the report is published in book form, but quoted an intelligence official as saying there was “no particular news” in the extra material.

If the Washington Post and the NYT were capable of honestly disclosing their relationship to the administration, which is far more corrupt than the exploits of a clown named Armstrong Williams (a fact Frank Rich should well know but pretends not to) , then that would be very particular news.

The 1,200 military men and women who were assigned to his search team are now fighting Iraqi insurgents. We hope they succeed. If they do not, large swaths of Iraq could become a no man’s land, where terrorists will be free to work on W.M.D. projects and United Nations weapons inspectors cannot go to thwart them.

Well guess what? Iraq is a no man’s land. Has been for some time. That’s why the Reagan administration put Saddam Hussein in power in the first place. We had hoped he’d keep the numerous factions in line so at an opportune moment we could step in and get the oil. But no such moment came. And in stepping in ourselves in order to create one, we have most assuredly stepped right in it. Control of the oil is but an errant dream now. As is control of any sort.

No wonder the “mainstream” finds itself turning away thorny problem of substance to the far more entrancing prospect of style.

Can’t wait to hear Anderson Cooper’s version of “There’s a Little Bit of Good in Everyone” from Chicago.

Hey, he doesn’t even have to get in drag to do it!