Saturday, January 28, 2006

Blog Logic and WMDs

This has long been a known feature of the blogworld: hype up (or make up) bad news about your opponent, further trumpet the good of your side, downplay or, more likely, completely ignore something you and your political stripe would deem as bad news in your cause.

Well, just such a blog-logic moment occurred a couple of days ago. It was the revelation by a senior Iraqi official under Saddam Hussein, Gen. Georges Sada, that Hussein had ordered chemical and biological agents sent to Syria in June of 2002. Naturally enough, the right wingers were all over it, the story swooshing across rightie blogs like Gondor signal fires.

On the left? It doesn't surprise me that the lefties are quiet but I guess I am surprised by the magnitude of the silence. I mean, I can't find anything. And what I was really looking for was some sort of skeptical inquiry into the nature of Sada: does he have an agenda? any unseemly motivations, etc.. Because, frankly, the existence of the quantity of WMD that Sada claimed -- 56 cargo planes -- is more baffling than its well-documented non-existence.

He is promoting a book, the book wherein these revelations are made. Now, my own first question for this guy is, why now? Sada has known this since mid-2004. One would think a good Christian would be screaming toward the White House that Syria is in possession of tonnes of WMD. I mean, wouldn't you? Something stinks, and it ain't the fish.

Of course, what I am skeptical about is the fact that Sada's claims are based on hearsay. He didn't actually know this had even happened until two sc-called friends -- pilots -- told him this. This part of the story alone gives me qualms. Sada is stated to have been the "no. 2 official in Saddam Hussein's air force," and yet he never knew that two Iraqi airliners had made 56 flights to Syria hauling WMD under the guise of humanitarian relief (Syria had just experienced a burst dam with resultant flooding). Although, given the level of cluelessness about the US military the SecDef of this country seems to possess, I guess I can't be too critical.

There is one other possible avenue of investigation. Sada is apparently a Christian and was so even as Hussein's air force number 2. Now with Hussein gone, Sada will be free to conduct his ministrations for Terry Law's World Compassion Christian organisation. It might be an interesting avenue of inquiry to see if there is any connection between Law and Bush (Terry Law, that is. We already know there is no connection between
the law and Bush). Nothing jumped out at me quickly, which is surprising. Not finding connections between Bush and Christian organisations, especially one with connections in Iraq, seems an unlikely scenario.

This blog stuff is really making me cynical.


Blogger Robbie said...

Maybe you should go and actually read my post which you linked too. I simply wrote about the existence of Sadas' claims and added some commentary about some perceived misconceptions. I did not "hype" or even claim to outright believe his claims.

Talk about a strawman argument...

12:33 AM  
Blogger theBhc said...

I think you missed the salient point here, though perhaps "hyping" mischaracterised some of the posts, the point was really about the fact that right wing blogs covered the story, the lefties did not.

Besides, "hyping" does not necessarily imply that you believed the story outright nor that you championed it. Hyped, in this case, merely meant that it was being widely published and noted across right wing blogs. While you may not have touted the story as entirely legitimate, many right wing blogs did without questioning the provenance of the story at all. As I point out in the follow-on post, even the White House ignored this one, and that has got to make you wonder.

Nothing about this behaviour is new or surprising. The left and right grab stories they like, ignore ones they deem ignorable. It is a feature that crosses the political divide and this particular story was a very strong example of this.

2:59 PM  
Blogger Robbie said...

So you're criticizing me for simply noting that the story exists?

3:24 PM  

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