Friday, February 07, 2003

Kristof's NYT editorial today is a fine example of many recent offerings that have supremely frustrated me. I should know better by now, but each time I see a lead-in saying "President Bush and Colin Powell have shown that Iraq is hiding weapons, but they did not demonstrate that the solution is to invade Iraq," I eagerly follow the link, thinking: "Finally! Somehow has an idea, a suggestion, an alternative! Lay it on me!" But this morning, as with all other recent columns (the exception being the debate between Hitchens and what's-his-name where what's-his-name actually does offer alternatives), all he can summon is a whimpering endorsement of "containment." I mean really, he almost seems embarassed by his own answer. It is so poorly supported and completely unelaborated. He of course doesn't use the word "inspections" since those have been thoroughly debunked. So what does containment mean? What does it look like? How would it work? He offers as an instructive example Reagan's containment of Libya. Well I'm young and have no sense of history and I thought we had bombed the hell out of Tripoli, so how 'bout some explanation? If you've got a good case, if you've got a good idea, now is the time to push it hard and not bury it in frustrating rhetoric of "containment." Are all the anti-war columnists bluffing, or does somebody, somewhere, have an ace?


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