Sunday, September 29, 2002

On OliverWillis:

The International Atomic Energy Agency says that a report cited by President Bush as evidence that Iraq in 1998 was "six months away" from developing a nuclear weapon does not exist.
"There's never been a report like that issued from this agency," Mark Gwozdecky, the IAEA's chief spokesman, said yesterday in a telephone interview from the agency's headquarters in Vienna, Austria.
In a Sept. 7 news conference with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Mr. Bush said: "I would remind you that when the inspectors first went into Iraq and were denied — finally denied access [in 1998], a report came out of the Atomic — the IAEA that they were six months away from developing a weapon.
"I don't know what more evidence we need," said the president, defending his administration's case that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was building weapons of mass destruction. The White House says Mr. Bush was referring to an earlier IAEA report.
"He's referring to 1991 there," said Deputy Press Secretary Scott McClellan. "In '91, there was a report saying that after the war they found out they were about six months away."
Mr. Gwozdecky said no such report was ever issued by the IAEA in 1991.

People should really "watch what they say". Lying about sex = rule of law. Lying about Iraqi capability = get yer war on!
As I said on his site, the problem isn't that this particular piece of "evidence" (and I use those scare quotes deliberately) or another is proven to be either a lie or wildly inaccurate spin, it's that there's no way it'll change anything. The Bush administration and their surrounding neocon policy community (and sympathetic online Echo Chamber) already know that they're right, and the only important question here is figuring out how to convince everybody else. If any one piece of information disappears, then they'll just dredge up another piece to place wildly out of context, hoping that this time the repetition of the latest Big Lie takes and those who question both within the country and without are finally convinced. They know in their hearts that they're right, and if they know they're right, then the ends justify the means.

Let's be frank, folks: this "debate" is a sham. It probably always have been. It's just one side throwing out one inane assertion after another and the other side racing around trying to disprove them, only to discover that the disproval is irrelevant due to the latest bit of nonsense that's come out. IAEA document proves to be a lie? Doesn't matter, Bush is going to prove that he has a legitimate case at the U.N. Bush crapped out after Iraq invited inspectors in? Doesn't matter, the "Blair Dossier" proves that Iraq is dangerous. Analysis shows that it does nothing of the sort? Doesn't matter- they just found weapons grade uranium near Iraq. Uranium turns out to be best measured in grams? Doesn't matter, Iraq proved they were irrational because they have come out against an American proposal that is as transparently designed to start a war as Austrio-Hungary's was before WWI. And so it goes. Can't wait to see what happens next.

That's why everybody is uncomfortable, angry, and/or frightened. It's not because they like Saddam, and it's not because they dislike Americans, and it's not because they're cowards, and it's not because of Trans-fucking-national Progressivism. It's because bullshit detectors are going off like obsessive-compulsive klaxons all around the world, but the people they're hooked up know they're powerless to do anything about it.

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