Why is it front page news that secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld thinks air-strikes alone can’t disable Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction? Hasn’t this been obvious for ever? We’ve been treated to several competing alleged leaks for ground invasions of Iraq over the past few weeks, as Jack Shafer has noted. Does the Times think that ground troops of 50,000 to 250,000 will be deployed from the air? Shafer asks the question of why these leaks are occurring but misses an obvious one: the doves in the Pentagon are allying with the doves at the major papers to wage a public campaign against the necessity of war against Iraq. The point of the Times story today is simply to get the following sentence on the front page: “A growing number of lawmakers from both parties are voicing concern that the administration is heading precipitously toward war.” The Los Angeles Times chimes in as well. Hearings begin today. But the campaign to protect Saddam’s weaponry began a long time ago. Those of us who think the majority of Americans decided last September that war with Iraq was essential to our present and future security had better be prepared. The opposition is determined and organized, and they are passionately opposed to using American power to defeat the forces of state terror. What if the U.N. opposes it or doesn’t endorse it? Many visceral doves in Washington will rally. If they can isolate the administration from the allies and the Congress, then there’s a good chance appeasement will gain even more momentum.

STOPPING THE WAR II: A central enabler of Serbian genocide opposes the war in Iraq. Figures.

STOPPING THE WAR III: King Abdullah of Jordan tells the British prime minister he mustn’t support the Bush administration’s war against Saddam. The pressure on Blair – internally and externally – is getting truly intense.

GEEKS ON ISRAEL: A useful statistical analysis from Tech Central Station on casualties in the Middle East.

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