Hitting Us Where It Hurts


As you’ve probably read, lawmakers are being briefed today by the Bush Administration on the intelligence gathered in advance of that Israeli strike last year on what the U.S. and Israel claim was a nascent Syrian nuclear weapons facility.

Included in the case against Syria (and North Korea) is a videotape purportedly taken inside the facility that shows North Koreans present.

As you might imagine, that hasn’t sat too well with the Syrians, but come on, this is hitting below the belt:

Syrian Ambassador Imad Moustapha yesterday angrily denounced the U.S. and Israeli assertions. “If they show a video, remember that the U.S. went to the U.N. Security Council and displayed evidence and images about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. I hope the American people will not be as gullible this time around,” he said.

Ouch. Isn’t there some sort of statute of limitations on our goof? I mean it’s been five years since Colin Powell’s UN presentation. And look at all we’ve done since: brought peace and stability to Iraq, made real progress on the Israel-Palestinian conflict, calmed world financial markets.

You’d think they could overlook this one little hiccup in light of all our other good deeds. Not to mention the catharsis we’ve undergone here at home: the extensive congressional hearings on the misuse of intelligence in the run-up to the Iraq invasion, Dick Cheney’s teary apology in the well of the Senate, Bush’s re-election in 2004. Look at the disgrace it has brought to the Republican Party: John McCain is barely running even with the Democrats in national polls.

Can’t the world see? We’ve changed.


David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.