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What Is a Hawk to Do?
12/19/2002

I didn't know what to make of an AP report yesterday, entitled "Bush Decides No Immediate War with Iraq," except to say that Ari Fleischer's reassurances, such as the following, are beginning to wear thin:

"As I said, the president has made clear that this is the last chance and the evaluation of the declaration continues" and will be "deliberate, thoughtful and wise." ... "I assure you this president does not bluff," Fleischer said. "When he said Saddam Hussein must disarm ... it is not a bluff."

Watching the AP video of Fleischer's "does not bluff" comment, I see that the AP's ellipsis after "disarm" softens the statement, but I still feel like I've heard "this is his last chance" one too many times for it to feel direct. Then, today, I read a WorldNetDaily article that leaves one with quite a different impression of the likelihood of a U.S. attack, including the revelation that our government has intelligence involving Iraqi communications to hide WMDs.

The conflicting impressions could certainly be a function of the biases of different media outlets. It could also be a deliberate initiative from the administration to obscure U.S. intentions. Well, I certainly hope that Saddam feels as clueless as I do.

Posted by Justin Katz @ 11:44 AM EST