October 27, 2004

Bottom Line on Al Qaqaa (Posted by Demosophist)

Although neither the 3rd ID nor the 101st Airborne found evidence that the 308 tons of explosives were intact when they conducted their searches of al Qaqaa, it is also a fact that they weren't looking for it. It's not entirely clear, either, that all of the material was there when the IAEA made its final inspection before the war, because they didn't actually check the containers, and just assumed that the seals they had placed earlier were sufficient evidence that the material had not been tampered with. I don't know how "safe" this assumption was, but for the purpose of analyzing the credibility of the Kerry attack, that doesn't matter.

What we know is that since the items were found to be missing in May, by the Iraq Survey Group, the material must have been taken out prior to that date. And according to the defense department it would have been nearly impossible to remove the material once US forces arrived on the scene, because within a short span of time all of the available roads were choked with US transport traffic, and heavily monitored.

So it really doesn't matter whether the 3rd ID or the 101st can specifically verify that the explosives were no longer at the site, because they could not have been moved during the period between their inspections (however brief) and the Survey Group's findings in May. The volume is just too large not to have been noticed.

So, how to explain the Kerry campaign's continued harping on the issue, as well as Josh Marshall and others? (Kos' intransigence doesn't really require an explanation.) It has to be the case that they see defeat looming, and they have no alternative. It has come down to this.

The bottom line: This is the opportunity granted George Bush on a silver platter not to merely win, but to obtain a mandate. He can win BIG by riding this counter-attack all the way to Nov. 2. Basically, he can close Kerry down.

Update: Well, I don't know. I just listened to a Bush campaign advisor who was on Hardball (Richard Falkenrath, I think) specifically to respond to charges about al Qaqaa, and he nearly put me to sleep. In a monotone delivery he simply refused to respond to Reuben's outrageous charges that the looting after the fact had virtually been proved. (It now appears that the Russians, along with Iraqi Intelligence, may have moved the stuff. (hat tip: Ramblings Journal))

Instead of getting with it he simply kept saying, with nauseating repetitiveness, "we don't know what happened and it's irresponsible to say we do." Yeah Dick, it's real irresponsible... but you're not a moralist, your a political operative. So tell us why Rueben is full of crap. We all know, so why don't you?

So these geniuses have settled on a line, and they're not only not going to counter-attack effectively, but are apparently going to lay back and rest on their laurels.

Hell, they're so politically incompetent it almost convinces me to vote for Kerry... except that he's the one who opened himself in the first place. So we have two fighters, one who habitually drops his guard as he lashes out blindly and recklessly, while spending most of his time hiding in the corner, and the other who also likes the opposite corner, and who refuses to take the opening to counter-punch when he has the golden opportunity. How the hell did we end up with these sorry losers? I really don't know what's going to happen... and I'm close to not caring. I'm really not sure Bush has what it takes to be President. He talks tough, but he plays like Fauntleroy.

There's no reason this even needs to be close!

Man, I'm gonna need medication by Tuesday.

(Cross-posted by Demosophist to Demosophia, Anticipatory Retaliation and The Jawa Report)

By Demosophist at 05:56 PM | Comments |