June 23, 2006

WMD in Iraq - No Kidding

Yes, the major media is reacting with a great big yawn to the story of the recently declassified document proving that over 500 chemical weapons shells have been found in Iraq since 2003, and that "blackout" is covered nicely here at Hot Air. There may well be much more to the document than the portions that have been declassified, as discussed at Power Line, but the disclosures touted thus far by Sen. Santorum and Rep. Hoekstra are nothing really new. That makes it difficult for me to summon much outrage (this time) at the fact that the media (still) considers it a non-story. Especially when you throw in the factor of Rick Santorum's political desperation of the moment.

True, millions of Americans still haven't heard about the chemical weapons shells, because the media has been too invested in "Bush Lied, People Died" as a slogan to spoil the party with actual facts. And that same media and their Democratic party allies can't be genuinely surprised by this news. I don't think they ever really believed what they were spouting back then. They've been lying all along when they claimed that there were no WMD in Iraq.

I believe there are three broad categories of people who have been saying for over three years that Saddam didn't have any WMD; liars, dolts, and people who cared too little to pay much attention to anyone except network anchors. Among those still in the dark are those unfortunates whose memories don't extend back before 2000, when even the New York Times and the Washington Post editorialized with alarmism about the dangers of Saddam's chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs. The list of weapons items that Saddam's regime has admitted to possessing may also have slipped their minds.

But then some of those same memory-challenged people can't quite recall Islamic terrorists setting off bombs in the World Trade Center, or bombing U.S. Navy vessels, or murdering hundreds of U.S. soldiers in their barracks before the 2000 election either, so what can you expect?

As sad and deplorable as that politically motivated media irresponsibility has been, I have to agree with Rick Moran that we are beyond the point where proof of the existence of Iraqi WMD changes anything politically for George Bush:

...the WMD argument ended years ago. Despite tantalizing evidence that Saddam moved his stockpiles to Syria and Lebanon prior to our invasion as well as anecdotal evidence of Russian collusion in spiriting WMD out of the country, from the standpoint of making a difference in the minds of the American people, this most recent evidence of Iraqi WMD will hardly be a blip on most people’s radar.

To be sure, the MSM at least gives the appearance that it is taking no chances that this story will change anyone’s mind on the war or on the President. One would think that a Senator reading from a declassified report on the Senate floor that our forces found 500 artillery shells containing deadly chemicals might be considered in some quarters to be news. The New York Times doesn’t even mention it. And even more curiously, the Washington Post buried the story by their national security correspondent Dafna Linzer on Page 10 (I wonder when the last time Linzer had his byline buried that deep in the paper?). And just to feed my conspiratorial nature even further, WaPo no longer links to the story in their on-line edition. I had to retrieve it by going through my “history” this morning.

But even if this was front page news, the political impact would be negligible. The politics of the war have moved beyond WMD and the liberation of Iraq and now center on the ongoing occupation and insurgency. We could find hundreds perhaps even thousands more of these pre-Gulf War chemical munitions and there still would be no impact on the President’s popularity or Republican chances in November.

The right half of the blogosphere has been a bit indignant that this kind of documentation has remained classified for so long, as if to ask "How dare our Republican administration not give us the tools with which to beat out political opponents over the head and rub their noses in the proof of their idiocy!"

I too would like to know why Russian and Saudi and Iranian sensibilities are spared, for example, and Americans who supported the Iraqi liberation kept in the dark about what we have found there? My only consolation is that we have a President who is concerned with weightier matters than fighting those partisan political battles.

As long as the political opposition is busying themselves debating the date by which we should inform the insurgents we'll be gone, so that they may plan accordingly, I will continue to be grateful that George Bush is the Commander in Chief.

Related:

In From The Cold
Michelle Malkin
Wizblog - November, 2005

Posted by dan at June 23, 2006 9:46 PM