Saturday, June 19, 2004

NYT Editorial, Redux: Blind Faith

Another smokin' editorial today from the New York Times (registration, yada yada). The end cap:

Mr. Cheney said he had lots of documents to prove his claims. We have heard that before, but Mr. Cheney always seems too pressed for time or too concerned about secrets to share them. Last September, Mr. Cheney's adviser, Mary Matalin, explained to The Washington Post that Mr. Cheney had access to lots of secret stuff. She said he had to "tiptoe through the land mines of what's sayable and not sayable" to the public, but that "his job is to connect the dots."

The message, if we hear it properly, is that when it comes to this critical issue, the vice president is not prepared to offer any evidence beyond the flimsy-to-nonexistent arguments he has used in the past, but he wants us to trust him when he says there's more behind the screen. So far, when it comes to Iraq, blind faith in this administration has been a losing strategy.
A. I really don't think Monkey Boy™ and his handler want to get in a pissing contest with the New York Times. But then, maybe they do. The Rovian Gambit behind such a move would be obvious - New York City (and it's environs) is pretty much a lost cause for them, anyway. But the NYT, being arguably the most influential newspaper in the country, could be cast in the heartland by Rove and crew as "elitist East Coast fishwrap".

B. Here's what I really don't get. Why did it take the New York Times editorial board nearly two years to articulate the "blind faith" concept that folks like me have been saying since the winds of war started blowing toward Iraq? Back in the 2002 runup to Iraq, I was telling anyone who would listen (precious few folks) that these guys were spouting a lot of sabre rattling words but providing not one shred of proof for their claims. Or, as I put it more succinctly on January 30, 2003:

If there is a demonstrable threat to our sovereignty or health / well being as a nation, we have an absolute right to use force. The obligation of our government leaders is to we, the folks who write the checks -- that obligation is to prove the threat exists. That hasn't been done. All we've gotten is a lot of "trust me on this one" coming from Washington. A lot of accusations and harsh words have been forthcoming, but not enough evidence to convict Saddam of enough malfeasance to support even a traffic ticket.
So, thanks for having my back, NYT! I wish you would have stepped up a little sooner, though. It might have saved us all a little heartburn.