Somewhere, probably in Iraq, Saddam Hussein is gloating. He can only be gratified by the feeding frenzy of recriminations, second-guessing and political power-plays that are currently assailing his nemeses: U.S. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair.The rest of the article is garden variety pro-Bush spin, worth neither your time nor mine. (For the curious, it attacks Democrats, misinterprets "learned", asserts the existence of WMDs to the consternation of a desperately begging question, blames the CIA, and assumes that since "everybody else did it" it must be ok.. despite the fact that "everybody else" didn't invade and conquer Iraq.) What grabbed me is how poorly this sort of attack on the loyalty of critics seems to fare these days- it may be present on a few of the blogs, but most of the president's supporters aren't brave (or stupid) enough to try to paint critics as "objectively pro-Saddam". Largely, this makes sense- Saddam is indeed no threat now, and the question is now whether he ever was and whether what exists in Iraq now is a worse threat. Cries of "treason!" fall on deaf ears. There are also huge problems in attacking the patriotism of those who are consciously moving to a position of advocating honesty and forthrightness, and even more in criticizing those whose questions are supported by soldiers and their families. It is more proof, however, that the media's position is shifting. Quickly.
The hysteria surrounding charges that faulty British intelligence about one aspect of Saddam's nuclear weapons program -- and a Bush 2003 State of the Union allusion thereto -- may even be emboldening Saddam to believe the unimaginable: He might yet survive (physically and perhaps politically) the current pair of U.S. and British leaders, just as he did their predecessors in the wake of Operation Desert Storm.
It is hard to believe that Americans of any political persuasion would actually want to gladden the heart of so vile a tyrant as Saddam Hussein, let alone to encourage those who seek his return to power. This is particularly true in light of the evidence of his regime's odious predations that have come to light since Iraq's liberation.
Well, most of the media. The fact that the National Post is backing Bush isn't surprising, as it has been been a tireless champion of the neo-conservative project since its founding. What makes this Op/Ed newsworthy in-and-of itself is that it's so laughably ineffective and transparent that it's almost jarring. Yes, the National Post is in a steep decline that is on the verge of a death spiral (as the other Canadian national, the Globe and Mail, gleefully details whenever possible), and it always has had a problem with being less a purveyor of news than spin. It should be no surprise that weak and vaguely pathetic editorials would appear in its pages.
Still, it says something when your Op/Ed pieces would be an embarassment to a fifth-rate blogger.