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Jewish World Review July 16, 2003 / 16 Tamuz, 5763

Joel Mowbray

Joel Mobray
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Lies and damn lies


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | Give credit to the "Bush lied" crowd for this much: they didn't just toss off the allegation in passing. They spent a lot of time talking about it. A lot.

Bush's supposed "lie" about Saddam's attempts to purchase yellow cake uranium - a "lie" that British intelligence maintains is actually not a lie - dominated the news late last week. The New York Times and Washington Post covered every twist and turn in the unfolding soap opera, while TV news outlets did their part to stoke the flames.

Not surprisingly, one of the worst offenders was CBS News, which announced on last Thursday's evening newscast, "President Bush's false claim about Iraqi weapons; he made it despite a CIA warning the intelligence was bad."

Too bad for CBS it is still not known that what Bush said in his State of the Union address was, in fact, a "false claim." The truth didn't stop CBS, though in fairness, it didn't stop many other news outlets.

But if the facts aren't all in - remember, the British say they have evidence independent of the forged documents that show Saddam actually tried to acquire uranium - how is that the headline "Bush lied" cascaded across the media landscape? It's not even a headline, really. It's a bumper sticker. Yet the media got sucked into partisan politics. To be fair, most of it probably is not a result of liberal media bias. When news is a business - and melodrama sells - headlines" aim to pack a punch. Saying the leader of the Free World "lied" does just that.

As for all the other players fanning the flames of untruth, their motives are far less benign. Obvious partisanship aside - liberals hate Bush in a way they haven't hated anyone since Reagan - there are ulterior motives at work.

The cake-and-eat-it-too crowd is led by presidential wannabe John Kerry, junior senator to Ted Kennedy, who is trying to keep up hawkish appearances while placating the liberals who actually believe Bush is a greater threat to national security than Saddam Hussien was. Since he voted to authorize the war in Iraq - with an eye toward November 2004 - Kerry needed a sleight of hand to woo peaceniks. So the man who founded Vietnam Veterans Against the War beefed up his antiwar reputation by claiming that Bush, in essence, duped him and others into supporting the war.

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Somewhat less self-interested are the folks who are perpetuating the myth that Bush "lied" because they want to torpedo any future pre-emptive attacks. On CNN last week (debating this columnist), Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel was clear about her motives for assailing Bush: "The pre-emptive doctrine has now turned out to be an abysmal failure based on the fact that it is predicated on having 100 percent reliable intelligence - and we've seen an administration which clearly manipulated intelligence to take us into war."

If vanden Heuvel and her cohorts can convince enough voters that the war was based on a lie, a president's ability to defend America with pre-emptive strikes will be seriously diminished. And that's exactly what the left wants.

Making sure they have every opportunity to achieve that goal is a frighteningly pliant media. With coverage that even O.J. Simpson might envy, the media devoted countless hours to deeming President Bush a "liar." The real shame, though, is what wasn't being covered.

In the past week, North Korea has made further advances toward reprocessing plutonium - a stepping stone in building nukes. The other remaining "axis of evil" nation, Iran, has brutally cracked down of thousands of its own citizens who want nothing more than freedom. And like its fellow evildoer, Iran is continuing its quest to develop nuclear weapons.

The nation that should take Iraq's old seat at the "evil" table, Saudi Arabia, continues to fuel Islamic extremism the world over, including right here in the United States with radical mosques and madrassas, or religious "schools."

Such stories may not be as sexy - after all, these bad guys are up to the same old stuff - but we can't afford not to pay attention. Not a day goes by when terrorists and other thugs aren't plotting to murder Americans and our way of life. That's no lie.

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JWR contributor Joel Mowbray is the author of the forthcoming book "Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Endangers America's Security". Comment by clicking here.

07/14/03: Is Iran next?
07/09/03: MTV foreign policy
07/02/03: Remember the real heroes
06/30/03: Bad Day for the House of Saud
06/27/03: O'Connor flips — again
06/23/03: Many people at State Dept. want to embarrass President
06/18/03: Bush, State Dept. at odds over democracy protests in Iran
06/16/03: Moral equivalence in the Middle East
06/11/03: What's really going on at Saudi mosques
06/09/03: The will to go on
06/04/03: ‘What most Jews don't want to verbalize is that they know, deep down, this is never going to stop’
06/02/03: Expect State Dept. to ignore Bush policy toward Iran
05/29/03: Neocon': Slang for 'Jew'?
05/27/03:'Defense Dept.'s de-Baath efforts run into State's pragmatic view of party
05/21/03: Comments by State Dept. official reflects Foreign Service disdain for Bush and believers
05/14/03: Jesse Jackson's Latest "Outrage" is Outrageous
05/12/03: Saddam's doctor selected by State Department
04/14/03: Why we fight
04/09/03: State Department giving Baghdad to House of Saud?
04/07/03: State Department giving Baghdad to House of Saud?
04/02/03: Martha Burk's State Department adventure
03/31/03: State's bad deeds head to Baghdad
03/26/03: Human shields-turned-hawks
03/24/03: No such thing as a benign despot
03/20/03: Self-fulfilling tyranny
03/14/03: Gadhafi-State Department Alliance
03/12/03: Pushing "peace" pushes war instead
03/10/03: One last chance --- for the UN
03/03/03: Democracy domino theory
02/28/03: $1 Trillion tax cut?
02/12/03: Saudi Slavery in America
02/05/03: "We're Going to War"
02/04/03: State Department's idea of a "traitor"
01/27/03: State's cold shoulder
01/02/03: Canada: The Weakest Link
12/20/02: Real Story of Yemen's Scud Missile Purchase
12/18/02: Lott's got the Senate in the palm of his hand
12/12/02: White House moves closer to finding Iraq in "material breach"
12/10/02: A 9/11 plotter confessed
12/06/02: Saudi Spin doctors dodge U.S. marshals
12/03/02: Wild, Wild Web
12/02/02: Justice, finally, for terrorism victims
11/26/02: Sue McDonalds? I Lost 80 lbs With Fast Food!
11/25/02: The State Department's spin machine
11/22/02: Finally! No more open door for Saudis
11/20/02: A defeat for border security
11/18/02: Trial lawyers vs. homeland security
10/09/02: The visas that shouldn't have been
09/26/02: The "right" Miss America
09/23/02: Tax Cuts, R.I.P.
09/17/02: Freedom denied
09/11/02: Iraqi roulette
09/06/02: O'Reilly the wrong 'Factor' in Saudi abduction case
09/05/02: State's war on Americans
08/09/02: White House wants replace 'Visa Express' genius with woman accused of not helping free kidnapped American kids in Arab lands
07/23/02: Visas for suspected terrorists?
07/11/02: VISA EXPRESS DERAILED
07/03/02: Saudis Fueling Mideast Terrorism
07/02/02: Dick Gephardt, Wannabe Deadbeat Son
06/26/02: Open door for terrorists still open
06/17/02: Open Door for Saudi Terrorists
06/11/02: Sacrificing liberty and safety
05/29/02: Coddling Castro
05/20/02: GOP running from social security reform?
05/09/02: Arab (sky) High Culture
04/24/02: Catholic Church's real challenge
04/17/02: How do you say 'media-bias' in Hebrew?
04/09/02: Sexually Explicit "Abstinence" Education?
04/09/02: A price on the heads of Americans overseas
04/02/02: Bush's New Version of Compartmentalization
03/25/02: Homosexuality a Factor in Sex Abuse by Priests
03/20/02: Government's "Candid Cameras"
03/14/02: Happy Abortionist Appreciation Day
03/07/02: Let dissent ring
03/04/02: Is Ted Kennedy a racist?
02/26/02: The Audacity to Be Black and Conservative

© 2003, Joel Mowbray.