Monday, July 19, 2004

The Good News Continues

Anyone who would like an update on the progress the new Iraq is making on its road to viable nationhood should check out the very comprehensive research done by Chrenkoff, an Australian blogger who has been posting updates on the good news from Iraq every two weeks for several months now. Chrenkoff's labors, he tells us, are motivated mostly by frustration with a press that seems to find only bad news to be newsworthy. His reporting is yet another example of the kind of analysis that the mainstream press should be providing but chooses not to, evidently preferring to continue its slide into irrelevancy.

NorthWest Flight 327 Update

Annie Jacobsen has an update on her report Viewpoint recommended to its readers two days ago. Apparently the national media are on to the story, but nothing has come out yet.

For those who might have missed it, Jacobsen was on a NorthWest Airlines flight that was also occupied by fourteen Syrian men whose behavior onboard raised very deep concerns and considerable fear. Jacobsen's description is riveting and if you haven't read it, you should. You can find it here.

Some commentators have dismissed Jacobsen's experience as nothing to worry about, but, as Jacobsen reports in the current update, a number of airline officials and pilots say that there is a strong likelihood that the Syrian passengers were making a terrorist practice run.

Read both columns for yourself and let us know what you think.

Liar, liar...

Yesterday Viewpoint carried a piece based on a Fox News story supporting the veracity of president Bush's claims that Iraq had been seeking uranium ore from Niger for use in nuclear weapons production and suggesting that Joe Wilson, who had been vociferously accusing Bush of lying about this, had himself been lying.

Mark Steyn has a fine piece on Wilson's prevarications in the Chicago Sun Times, and Jonah Goldberg at National Review refutes a couple of Wilson's lame attempts to defend himself in the Washington Post.

The important question is how Kerry will respond to this development. Kerry's campaign sponsers Wilson's web site and Wilson has been campaigning with Kerry, calling Bush a liar at Kerry campaign events. Doesn't Kerry owe Bush an apology?

Steyn writes that this isn't going to happen. Wilson was useful in discrediting Bush, whether his allegations were truthful or not, and now that his usefulness has expired he will be quietly allowed to fade into the oblivion of media amnesia.

Steyn puts it this way:

It would be nice to hear his media boosters howling en masse, "Say it ain't so, Joe!" But Joe Wilson's already slipping down the old media memory hole. He served his purpose - he damaged Bush, he tainted the liberation of Iraq - and yes, by the time you read this the Kerry campaign may well have pulled the plug on his Web site, and Salon magazine's luxury cruise will probably have to find another headline speaker, and he won't be doing Tim Russert again any time soon. But what matters to the media and to Senator Kerry is that he helped the cause of (to quote his book title) The Politics Of Truth, and if it takes a serial liar to do that, so be it.

Read the whole piece. It's worth it.