Saturday, March 16, 2002
Create a cartoon spokesperson?A column by David Ignatius in the Washington Post asks How can the United States sell a war against Iraq to skeptical Arabs and Europeans? How, indeed?
A good start would be to level with them and admit there is no solid evidence linking Baghdad to Osama bin Laden's terrorist attacks against America.Well, as I recall, the "skeptical Arabs" refuse to believe that Osama Bin Laden is linked to Osama Bin Laden's attacks against America, so somehow I don't think the issue is the existence, or lack thereof, of "solid evidence." Here's a novel idea: how about if we don't try to sell a war against Iraq to skeptical Arabs and Europeans? How about defeating the Iraqi military, ousting Saddam Hussein, and then telling the "skeptical Arabs" that if they have any questions or objections, they should ask the French, who never seem to be at a loss for words?
The Bush administration might win more support for its anti-terrorism effort if it offered less rhetoric and more straight talk about the dangers ahead. There has been a kind of bunker mentality in the administration's actions the past few months.Seems to me that the "straight talk" is exactly what gets Bush in trouble with our "allies." It's too "simplistic," remember?
When you realize that U.S. officials go to sleep at night worrying about nuclear or biological attacks on Washington, you begin to understand their odd decisions: why they planned what amounted to an office of strategic deception in the Pentagon, why they began rewriting U.S. nuclear weapons doctrine, why they created a secret "shadow" government to carry on if the capital were obliterated. Most of these are bad ideas, but at least they become more comprehensible.Most of these are bad ideas? Ensuring the continuity of government in the event of an attack on Washington is a bad idea? Reviewing -- not "rewriting" -- U.S. nuclear weapons policy is a bad idea? I'm glad Ignatius finally "comprehends" these moves, but I'm not sure he really does, if he thinks they're "bad ideas." What I am sure is that he really doesn't have any answer to the question he poses -- but fortunately, he's just a newspaper columnist, so he doesn't have to.
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