micah holmquist's irregular thoughts and links
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Monday, November 25, 2002
Some tough questions need to be asked
Novack suggests that this means the escalation of the war with Iraq is less likely:
If Saddam opposes or stalls the inspectors, he surely faces multinational military action to seal his fate. But what if he cooperates and no cache of weapons is found? The calm and collected George W. Bush who talked with Powell on the way to Prague seems ready to accept that outcome.The referance to a conversation on the way to Prague refers to an earlier part of the story where Novak implies that Bush and Powell talking for hours last week reflects agreement on their part.
I'm not convinced that Novak is correct on Bush's mood swing since he cites nothing but unnamed sources which can be a recipe for misunderstandings. Furthermore I think it is unlikely that Saddam Hussein will cooperate in Bush's eyes and even if he does Bush can always change his mind once again.
But let's just say that Saddam does cooperate, no weapons are found and Bush decides that war is the correct course of action. Will the public accept this without realizing that this means a hell of a lot of what Bush has said about the threat posted by Iraq -including my favorite, "we cannot wait for the final proof -- the smoking gun -- that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud"- has been nothing war propoganda? Will they not think that the President is full of shit on this "war on terror"?
Althought I don't know the answer for sure and I'd love to see the general public come to see Bush as the dishonest authoritarian that I see him as, I just don't think that the public is likely to come over to that view in the event that Bush decides not to go to war. What's missing is a media that could hold Bush's feat to the fire the fire. As veteran journalist and foreign affairs columnist for The San Diego Union-Tribune James O. Goldsborough explained last Thursday in a piece entitled "An asleep media and an unjustified war," the media has been highly largely been uncritical of the idea that the United States should install a new government in Iraq and has not made a point of emphasizing the risks that such an action entails.
Without a media asking tough questions like "Mr. President, did you lie when you said Iraq was a threat or are you now endangering the lives of Americans in not militarily confronting the threat?" I fear that too many Americans are likely to give Bush a pass in whatever he does or doesn't do in the name of the terrorist attacks of September 11.