Monday, October 25, 2004

What Weighs More?

There were a couple gems on the news tonight.
First, I saw a meaningful discussion of why the media is covering trivial news in these last few days before the election. This was on CNN's Reliable Sources and involved a rehashing of all of the trivial news stories (including Kerry's mention of Cheney's lesbian daughter and Teresa Heinz Kerry's misstatement about Laura Bush never having a job).
I don't think they see the irony.

I was prevented from lashing out in anger at my coworkers by the calming influence of Jon Stewart on C-Span. Stewart was speaking at the New Yorker book festival and basically expanded on what he said on Crossfire, about the laziness of the media. (I will avoid mooning over Stewart here; but I must say, he is a very charming man.)

In my last program of the evening, I heard Dick Cheney say, "If Kerry had been President the likelihood is that Saddam Hussein would still be in power, and might even have acquired nuclear weapons." Cheney is too good at delivering lines like this. On the lips of Bush, it would sound like a cartoonish rallying cry read from a teleprompter. When Cheney says it, the words "likelihood" and "might" wither under a tone of dread certainty.

Well, we may have reason to be afraid as 380 tons of explosives have gone missing in Iraq, according to a New York Times article.

"United Nations weapons inspectors had monitored the explosives for many years, but White House and Pentagon officials acknowledge that the explosives vanished sometime after the American-led invasion last year."
Last year??
"The White House said President Bush's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, was informed within the past month that the explosives were missing. It is unclear whether President Bush was informed."
Last month??
Bush was probably not informed. And, if this story goes any further as a scandal, it could be the death blow for Rice.
""This is a high explosives risk, but not necessarily a proliferation risk," one senior Bush administration official said."
Whew. I was worried there for a minute.
"After the invasion, when widespread looting began in Iraq, the international weapons experts grew concerned that the Qaqaa stockpile could fall into unfriendly hands. In May, an internal I.A.E.A. memorandum warned that terrorists might be helping "themselves to the greatest explosives bonanza in history.""
"Stay the course. Stay the course. Stay the course..."

"I just don't feel safe any more," said Judy [to BBC]. "The terrorists could strike any time." - Judy is inclined to vote for Bush.

I would like to react to the WSJ article (Did the U.S. Err by Halting Strike on Zarqawi Camp?), because I've heard mention of it already this morning. Unfortunately, it requires a subscription. So I will wait until it is blogged.
*Sigh* - Always a step behind.

So, what weighs more? Phantom nuclear weapons under a hypothetical Kerry presidency or 380 tons of explosives?