July 29, 2003


LET THEM EAT YELLOWCAKE: A few things to say about this whole WMD/uranium-from- Niger controversey: first of all, I'm sick to death of people referring to their opponents, their enemies, or anything they don't like as "weapons of mass destruction"- even if such things are neither weapons, nor massive, nor of destruction. It's the "otherwise the terrorists win" of 2003. I'm referring specifically to a speech by Congressman/alleged presidential candidate "Crazy Dennis" Kucinich, to whom apparently everything is a weapon of mass destruction other than the actual WMDs themselves:

Joblessness is a weapon of mass destruction. Poverty is a weapon of mass destruction. Hunger is a weapon of mass destruction. Poor health care is a weapon of mass destruction. Poor education is a weapon of mass destruction. Discrimination is a weapon of mass destruction

By that rationale, so is civic bankruptcy- like the one Kucinich precided over as mayor of Cleveland in the '70s.
We've also heard the silly modifier "weapons of mass distraction," the porn parody "Weapons of Ass Destruction," and so on. But that scandal has fallen off the front page in favor of the "16 words" President Bush said in the State of the Union address: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."
Now notice: even though the now-debunked intelligence had Saddam purchasing uranium from the West African nation of Niger, Bush said not the specific country but rather "Africa." Why's that? Well, it's obvious- Bush's speechwriters clearly didn't trust the president to correctly pronounce Niger, as opposed to, uh, another word that sounds sort of like "Niger," only with one more "G." Such a faux pas, previously committed in a speech by California Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante, could hurt Bush's presidency more than all his previous Bushisms combined; it was indeed a wise move by the speechwriters to sidestep it. After all, we all know how much trouble Bush has had pronouncing that other, highly-loaded N-word: "nuclear."

Posted by Stephen Silver at July 29, 2003 01:12 AM
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