Monday, October 25, 2004


Times Online - World

Several hundred tonnes of sophisticated high explosive have been stolen from a Saddam-era military facility in Iraq, despite repeated warnings from UN weapons watchdogs that US troops should secure the appears the explosives were looted in the period of lawlessness after last year's invasion..."It's very embarrassing for the Americans. The very thing the war was supposed to prevent, it has in fact facilitated."

But let's not exaggerate: it's not really "several hundred"--just 380 tons of high explosives that have gone missing. And let's be fair: most of us lose things--I used to lose my keys all the time until I put a little hook by the back door and got into the habit of hanging them up as soon as I got home. I admit I've never lost a stockpile of high explosives--but then I'm not the Commander in Chief.

Administration apologists are already doing damage control, dismissing Kerry's speech this morning as mere politicking. After all, they note, this business of keeping on top of things in Iraq is the responsibility of military on the ground--even if we credit President Bush with liberating Iraq, we can't blame him for the SNAFUs, least of all for losing 380 tons of high explosives. I understand this: I'm not to blame for all the things that go missing in my house--the cleaners put stuff in places where I can't find them, the dog walks off with things and buries them, and my kids make such a mess that no one can find anything. But then I'm not the Commander in Chief.

Looks like we have a dilemma here. Either the President is responsible for operations in Iraq or he isn't. If he is, then the current President has been remiss in his duties and ought not to be re-elected. If he isn't, then in choosing the next President we shouldn't worry about the situation in Iraq, which is the business of the military, but vote for the candidate who has the most to offer on the domestic front. The rest of the proof is left to the reader as an exercise.

As for the lost explosives, it may be time for a faith-based initiative:

St. Anthony, come around: 380 tons of high explosives are lost and must be found

1 comment:

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