Conservatives repeated Bush administration’s misleading comparison between explosives, other munitions
Media conservatives have echoed the Bush administration’s misleading argument that the reported 380 tons of explosives that went missing from the Al Qaqaa facility in Iraq pales in comparison to the reported 405,944 tons of munitions that have been captured in Iraq so far. In fact, explosives — many of which were reportedly in the form of white powder — weigh far less than some other types of “munitions,” which include explosives, but also “rockets, guided and ballistic missiles, bombs … grenades, mines, torpedoes … and devices and components thereof,” according to the Pentagon.
Moreover, one pound of C-4 plastic explosive — of which HMX and RDX, the missing explosives, are key ingredients — was enough to blow up Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988, as an October 25 Associated Press story noted.
Nonetheless, Vice President Dick Cheney has advanced this misleading comparison, and media conservatives have dutifully repeated it. On October 26, Vice President Dick Cheney criticized Senator John Kerry, saying Kerry “doesn’t mention … the 400,000 tons of weapons and explosives that our troops have captured and are destroying.” The next day, the Pentagon released two pages of talking points in which it asserted “that the missing explosives are ‘less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the 400,000 tons of total munitions coalition forces have destroyed or lined up to destroy,’” according to an October 28 Washington Times article. National security adviser Condoleezza Rice underscored this point in an October 28 radio interview: “370 tons is a lot, but 400,000 tons is really a lot.”
But the administration is not just making a misleading comparison between tons of powder and hundreds of thousands of tons of artillery shells, bombs, and other ammunition. It is also neglecting a far more apt comparison — between the ammunition captured and the hundreds of thousands of tons of ammunition that are thought to exist but have not been captured. As the San Francisco Chronicle pointed out: “At least another 250,000 tons from Saddam’s regime remain unaccounted for, and some has undoubtedly fallen into the hands of insurgents.”
Sorry about the lengthy quote, I just can’t believe the people out there that refuse to think for themselves and look for the facts on this.
I should note that anything, ANYTHING printed in the Washington Times should be taken with a very large grain of salt (25# salt-lick block recommended). It was founded by members of the Unification Church.
The Washington Times Foundation, a charitable organ/front of some sort, are the same fine folks that brought us the coronation ceremony of Sun Myung Moon and his wife in the Dirksen Senate Office Building earlier this year. Several elected Congresscritters and Senators were in attendance at different points, but to their credit most left quickly when they realized it was some sort of Moonie publicity stunt. My own Congresscritter, Phil Crane, was listed as a member of the “Host Committee,” but in his typical do-nothing way failed to have any real connection with the festivities and didn’t show up (most attendees thought it was a reception honoring various people, and thus only showed up for the refreshments). Apprently, they were all sent “opt-out” invitation letters, and their names might appear on the official invitations unless they specifically said they weren’t attending.
That’s it! It’s like spam for the mind! The vast unthinking masses suck it up without question, ordering more and more political V*gara to keep their shpirits up. The Rethugnicans (not the Grand Old Republicans of yore, but the Neo-con Rethugnicans) are taking tactics out of the mind-control Moonies’ playbook. Why didn’t I think of that?
The fact that the Pentagon released its “400,000 tons” talking points memo via the WT is… interesting. And all the conservative pundits are lined up to endlessly repeat the same misleading, incomplete, and willfully untruthful figures, so that the unthinking believers are calmed and justified in their mindless faith.
My God. What have we come to?