Public Nuisance

Random commentary and senseless acts of blogging.

The first Republican president once said, "While the people retain their virtue and their vigilance, no administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can seriously injure the government in the short space of four years." If Mr. Lincoln could see what's happened in these last three-and-a-half years, he might hedge a little on that statement.
-Ronald Reagan

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Monday, October 14, 2002
 
Andy Sullivan is delighted that:

The polls show that Americans get the president's arguments about Iraq in a post-9/11 world. According to a Pew Center poll, reported by ABCNews,

86 percent of those surveyed believed Saddam had nuclear weapons or was close to acquiring them, and 66 percent believed he was involved in the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.

What's interesting about this is that the president's arguments that so many people agree with are backed by almost no evidence. Iraq is certainly attempting to produce a nuclear weapon, but has no facilities to create enriched uranium or plutonium. The one attempt to show that Iraq was close to actually acquiring nuclear weapons backfired when the report that supposedly proved the threat didn't say any such thing. And no credible analysts believe in a connection betwee Iraq and 9/11. In fact, Bush made neither of these claims in his speech:

We know that Iraq and the al Qaeda terrorist network share a common enemy: the United States of America. We know that Iraq and al Qaeda have had high-level contacts that go back a decade.

Some al Qaeda leaders who fled Afghanistan went to Iraq. These include one very senior al Qaeda leader who received medical treatment in Baghdad this year and who has been associated with planning for chemical and biological attacks.

We've learned that Iraq has trained al Qaeda members in bomb-making and poisons and deadly gases. And we know that after September the 11th Saddam Hussein's regime gleefully celebrated the terrorist attacks on America....

Satellite photographs reveal that Iraq is rebuilding facilities at sites that have been part of his nuclear program in the past.
Iraq has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes and other equipment needed for gas centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons.

If the Iraqi regime is able to produce, buy or steal an amount of highly enriched uranium a little larger than a single softball, he could have a nuclear weapon in less than a year.

It would seem then that the media has thrown enough of a scare into the public that they now believe conservative arguments for going to war, even those that conservatives are unwilling to make directly due to lack of proof. And unsurprisingly, Sullivan feels that this is good news.



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