What He Said. I Think.

I am not sure to make of this rambling and incoherent piece by Richard Cohen other than to let the WaPo front office know that Oliver Willis would love to write for them.

Blinded By Science

I’m with BigWig on this one:

The Win Without War phone-in protest tied up the phone lines on Capitol Hill today, at least the ones whose numbers are given out to the public. Senators have lots of phone lines, so I doubt that too much sand was thrown into the Congressional gears. Not that we’d be able to tell. Deliberative bodies are…..deliberate, after all. Sloths are models of haste in comparison.

BigWig thinks they need a dose of their own medicine. I agree:

Suppose for a moment that war supporters just spontaneously decide to call Lynn Erskine, the listed contact for Win Without War, at her phone number, which by the way is 202-478-3429, to let Lynn know how they felt about the war, or left her a voice mail detailing their views on tying up Washington’s phone lines during a time of crisis? How many calls do you think it would take before that number was rendered useless for the purpose of organizing the next protest?

How many voice mails, (long, polite ones, mind you, because war supporters are a genteel, reasonable and extremely slow talking folk when it comes to leaving voice mails), do you think Win Without War would wade through in order to hear ones more supportive of their cause? How many voice mails before someone reaches the tipping point and decides to just hit the delete button until all the messages are gone?

Would that tipping point be higher or lower for Not In Our Name, if war supporters also called their national office, at 212-969-8058.

Everyone hurry along now and call the good people. And while you are at it, send a check to any moderate Republican who has stood with Bush on this issue, but might have a tough fight ahead of them. My own Rep. Shelley Moore-Capito (R., WV) could use some help, as she is the only Republican elected to Congress in my lifetime, and in a state where the majority of the voters trend Democrat.

The Cost of War

This WaPo article claims Bush wants up to $95 billion for the war in Iraq. According to Drudge, that breaks down to $320.00 per citizen.

Who do I write the check to and where do I send it?

Yglesias Gets the Game

This is why Matthew Yglesias will end up going places- he refuses to deny the obvious, whereas others in his ideological realm continue to spin, spin, spin. I’ll let Matthew speak for himself:

If Saddam woke up one morning, had a sudden change of heart, and decided to abandon his WMD programs because he was all the sudden a good guy, then of course it would be absurd for us to invade. That, however, is not going to happen. Insofar as Saddam might make concessions to the UN, he’d be doing it because he felt threatened by American policy and was trying to save his ass. Thus he might really open up to the inspectors and let his entire program get destroyed. And then the inspectors would leave. And the US troops built up in the Gulf would leave. And the sanctions on Iraq would be lifted. And the attention of the world community would drift elsewhere.
And then Saddam would start his program up again.

And then some hawkish American president would start making noises about war again. And folks would say that war must be the last resort. And that the US has to proceed multilaterally. And so we would go to the UN again. And there’d be a new resolution. And Saddam would obstruct the new inspections team. And we’d threaten to go to war. And some would call to give the inspectors more time. And there’d be talk of a new resolution. And talk about how the president was determined to have a war one way or another.

And thus the cycle would proceed, over and over again until either Saddam dies (but maybe not even then if he just hands off power to a successor) or else without the inspections and the no-fly zones Saddam builds a nuke before US intelligence can figure out what he’s up to.

Osama Returns

Osama is back, just in time for the Oscars, releasing a new collection of his greatest hits:

An audio tape purported to carry the voice of Osama bin Laden called on Iraqis to carry out suicide attacks against Americans and defend themselves against a U.S. attack.

The tape was broadcast on the Al-Jazeera Arab satellite station on Tuesday, the first day of the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha. The speaker also urged Iraqis to dig trenches and engage in urban warfare to fend off U.S. troops.

“We stress the importance of martyrdom operations against the enemy, these attacks that have scared Americans and Israelis like never before,” the speaker said, using a term often used by militants for suicide attacks.

Before the broacast, Secretary of State Colin Powell told a Senate panel Tuesday that he had read a transcript of the statement and that it shows why the world needs to be concerned about Iraqi ties to terrorism.

This will no doubt fluster the Democrats, who have been whining for months that there is no connection between Al Qaeda and Osama. Well, is this tape is real, there is now a connection. In short, loudmouths, here are your options:

1.) Claim the tapes are fake, and quit claiming Osama is alive. This will upset the anti-war crowd a great deal, as one of their favorite responses to the Bush Iraq policy has been to wail “What About Osama?”

2.) Claim the tapes are real, and endorse an attack on Iraq.

I am betting they will go for the third option, which is to sputter incoherently, call Bush the ‘selected’ President, scream something about unilateralism, and then go write domestic spending projects while yelling at Bush for ruining the deficit. Daschle and Kerry, of course, will have some more serious questions.

*** UPDATE ***

I was just reading Atrios (need to check in daily to find out who is a racist, you know), and I found that the Democrats have chosen option #4, which goes something like this:

The tape is a fake, planted by the CIA to prove a link between Osama and Saddam. Despite the fake nature of the tape, however, do not assume that we think bin Laden is dead. On the contrary, this tape shows that BUSH has failed to kill Osama and is a unilateralist bully who will do anything to go to war with Iraq.

My head hurts.

Goodbye, Saddam

When the anti-war (at all costs) movement and Saddam have lost the entire WaPo editorial board, including Mary McGrory (“I’m Persuaded“), your time is limited.

When you have lost the NY Times editorial board, it is time for Hussein to start thinking about exile. Or, as Matt Yglesias puts it:

As America’s slow-motion rush to war appears to be reaching it’s final steps, the Times editorial board shows up, limping about one step behind.

My Favorite Headline

Today’s best headline:

Saddam Says He’s Against War

No, seriously. That is the headline. Go check the link.