Just As I Thought

WMD: missing in action

Speaking of entertaining Texans and things missing in action, here’s what Molly Ivins has to say about the mysterious lack of Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction:

Boy, are we not being served well by American journalism.

… But the weirdest media reaction of all is to the ongoing non-appearance of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. More and more stories quoting ever-unnamed administration officials appear saying that the administration would be “amazed if we found weapons-grade plutonium or uranium” and that finding large volumes of chemical or biological material is “unlikely.”

Look, if there are no WMDs in Iraq, it means either our government lied us to us in order to get us into an unnecessary war or the government itself was disastrously misinformed by an incompetent intelligence apparatus. In either case, it’s a terribly serious situation.

What I cannot believe is that respected journalists — most notably Tom Friedman, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner — would simply dismiss the nonexistent WMDs as though it made no difference. Of course it matters if our government lies to us.

Why do you think people were so angry at Lyndon Johnson over the Gulf of Tonkin? At Richard Nixon over the “secret war” in Cambodia? Even at Bill Clinton over the less cosmic matter of whether he had sex with “that woman.”

… Nonexistent WMDs also present us with a huge international credibility problem — particularly given that the Bush administration now feels entitled to “punish” those countries that did not join the “coalition of the willing,” as we so preciously called those who caved in to our threats to cut off foreign aid.

Come on, think about this. The Bush administration apparently feels entitled to take actions punishing close old friends, including Mexico and Canada — not to mention the Europeans — for not siding with us in a war that we may have lied about?
I often scratch my head at the media. Weren’t they supposed to be a “liberal” group? If so, why are the ignoring the incredible amount of fodder the Bush administration is pumping out? You know, the FCC is about to dismantle the rules restricting how many media outlets a single corporation can own. A lot of people are upset about this, claiming that it will destroy “local” voices. I say this has already happened. And if it hasn’t, it doesn’t matter anymore. They’re not reporting the news (see my earlier post today) and they’re pandering too much. I can foresee a day when corporate media will dominate the world – and people like myself and others who care about what is going on will get all their information from the net.

1 comment

  • apropos: “people like myself and others who care about what is going on will get all their information from the net.”

    Or from the BBC, which is one of my current resources [ref. Paul Krugman, New York Times, “The China Syndrome,” May 13 http://www.nytimes.com/2003/05/13/opinion/13KRUG.html ]

    “A funny thing happened during the Iraq war: many Americans turned to the BBC for their TV news. They were looking for an alternative point of view � something they couldn’t find on domestic networks…”

    “Leave aside the rights and wrongs of the war itself, and consider the paradox. The BBC is owned by the British government, and one might have expected it to support that government’s policies. In fact, however, it tried hard � too hard, its critics say � to stay impartial. America’s TV networks are privately owned, yet they behaved like state-run media.”

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