Well, David Kay apparently made it official today. After months of hunting, the search for Saddam’s banned weapons has come up dry. Apparently he didn’t have any after all. This would appear to represent an intelligence failure of stunning, perhaps unprecedented proportions. The fact that there was not, after all, any significant threat from Iraq will keep the administration on the defensive until the next election and beyond–if the administration somehow survives the next election, which is increasingly hard to imagine. It’s hard to see how Bush can run for re-election on any kind of a foreign policy platform after this debacle. Nor can I imagine how he can take any forceful action in relation to any of the remaining–or, I should say, actual–threats in the Arab region, now that his credibility is zero.
There may have been worse news days than this one, but not in a very long time.
UPDATE: And the latest poll data don’t even take into account today’s devastating news. Most Americans now say the Iraq war was not worth it; what will they say when they find out that Bush was wrong about Saddam’s weapons, and Hans Blix was right all along? Approval of Bush’s foreign policy performance has sunk all the way down to 44%, so he’ll have to run for re-election on the basis of the strong economy he’s presided over. No, wait, that could also be a problem since 56% express no confidence in Bush’s decision-making on economic issues.
Turn out the lights, folks. The party’s over. I’m back to where I was a few weeks ago: the only race worth watching is the Democratic primaries, because whoever they nominate is our next president.
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