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Tuesday, September 16, 2003


Today, I'm going to point readers to a few stories that address points I've addressed here in the last two weeks.

First, the Bush administration's pre-war lies. USA Today, of all places, had a story yesterday about CNN's pre-war coverage of Iraq and its WMD, "Amanpour: CNN practiced self-censorship." CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour said about her employer's coverage: "it's a question of tone. It's a question of being rigorous. It's really a question of really [sic] asking the questions. All of the entire body politic in my view, whether it's the administration, the intelligence, the journalists, whoever, did not ask enough questions, for instance, about weapons of mass destruction. I mean, it looks like this was disinformation at the highest levels."

Along those same lines, Joshua Micah Marshall has a story in the September Washington Monthly ("The Post-Modern President Deception, Denial, and Relativism: what the Bush administration learned from the French") arguing that the Bushies have a firm policy agenda that they support with whatever arguments seem convenient to selling their case. This is political spin taken to a new post-modern level. Beyond lying about politics, Marshall is describing a complete lack of concern with evidence -- and a complete rejection of expert advice that disagrees with its ideology.

Next, post-war politics.

Reuter's reports that Tony Blair is meeting today with Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schroeder in hopes of formulating a common European policy on post-war Iraq. While it may simply be wishful thinking, Martin Koopman, of the German Council on Foreign Relations, concludes that the meeting could force the US to change its position. "If Germany, France and Britain really achieve a common position, it would make it very difficult for the United States to oppose such a position in the Security Council," he said. "In any case, it would mean an extreme upgrading of Europe."

As I wrote last week, Blair is facing a lot of domestic pressure on Iraq. His own "doctrine of international community" fits better with European multilateralism than it does with American unilateralism. Now that the war is over, it would not be surprising to see him work with natural partners.

Oh, and the French aren't the only ones suggesting that Iraq should very soon be governed by Iraqis. Yesterday's Washington Post reported that 5 members of Iraq's 25 member Governing Council (appointed by the US), are calling for a quick end to the US occupation and a transfer of power to Iraq.

Think about that. Hand picked Iraqs (including Ahmed Chalabi of the Iraqi National Congress, the Pentagon's darling) are rejecting the US. Chalabi, who is this month's Governing Council President, said: "There must be a move forward to sovereignty for Iraq. We want to work with the international community to achieve that as soon as possible."

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