That’s how Andrew Sullivan
describes the U.N.’s damning report
on Iraq -- damning, that is, if you pay attention to the facts -- and Powell’s push to involve the U.N. in the process. But is it really a ‘vindication’? And, if so, who’s discredited/not vindicated in the administration? Names, please. The fact is this diplomatic route should have been tried a year ago. It was resisted by many in the administration. Now it’s being implemented at the very last minute, too late, probably, to sway any meaningful number of Americans and/or Europeans. Too many people have already made up their minds. ... One reader wrote to me the other day (and I’m paraphrasing, for I no longer have the email): The United States was never going to convince the hard-core anti-American Europeans who see nothing but evil in everything America does. But it could have swayed, say, 5 percent to 10 percent more of the European population. Modest numbers, to be sure. But, as the reader said, it might have been enough to change the outcome of the German election had we tried a more diplomatic, less bellicose strategy. ...
.... Joan Vennochi
has some good observations on roughly the same matter: “Ever since (Bush’s State of the Union address last year), he has marched the country toward another war. But we are not marching to one clear voice but rather to a jarring, confusing cacophony that starts and stops and starts again. Between the fits and starts, it is hard to hear Bush's voice over the voices coming from Iraq, North Korea, and the United Nations, not to mention the voices vying to be heard from inside his own administration.” ... Now there are certain things I disagree with in Joan’s column, such as the way she personally describes the president and her suggestion that he hasn’t made a clear case for war. Personally, I think the case for possible war was made a long, long time ago. The point of the U.N. approach was to convince others
about the possible need for war. But Joan is largely right about this administration’s zigzagging ways. ... Sorry to hammer away at the point, but maybe it’s time, now that some are giving Colin Powell credit, to once again reread Peggy Noonan’s column
from this past September on the mood of the country. ... And, oh, what the hell, while we’re at it, why not reread the Chruchill line sent in by Brighton Reader:
“As Churchill said, the only thing worse than fighting with allies is fighting without them.”