Thursday, October 28, 2004

Gopher Smashers

You know that arcade game where the little gophers pop up out of the holes; you hit them with a mallet only to have another one pop up somewhere else? The faster you hit them, the faster they pop up until you’re just flailing away, not really caring whether you hit them or not.

Al-QaQaa is beginning to look like one giant game of Gopher Smashers for Bush. The more they try to knock it down, the more it pops up with even more annoying noises. First they said the explosives were lost by the Iraqi interim government until the Iraqis reminded them that the looting took place a year before the Iraqis had an interim government. Then they said that they had been looted before the Americans arrived, and even if they were, there were records showing it was only three tons, not 380…as if that would make a difference to a car bomber. But that report was shot down by the IAEA, who said the weapons had been sealed in January 2003. Then they said that the weapons were taken between the time of the invasion – March 19 – and the time the US forces got to Baghdad – April 9 – until an embedded reporter with KSTP TV in Minneapolis produced a tape of the Americans showing off the cache for the camera on April 18.

So now what? Well, if you’re in the Bush administration, the first thing you do is keep silent, then chastise your opponent for making wild claims and demoralizing the troops, then find someone else to blame the fuck-up on and find someone to do the blaming for them. Mr. Bush ignored the story for three days, then went after John Kerry for making unfounded accusations until it was quite apparent that the accusations were, in fact, well-founded. Then he said that such talk was laying the blame on our brave fighting men. That worked until today when Rudy Guiliani went on national TV and said it was the troops’ fault for not finding the explosives in the first place. And finally, Dick Cheney had to back water on his claims that Kerry was “dead wrong” on the facts. You know you’re in deep shit when Dick Cheney has to modify his remarks.

We’ve been expecting an October surprise. But the surprise is that it’s on Bush. Add to that the fact that the FBI is now beginning to look into some of the Halliburton contracts, unemployment numbers are up 20,000, and polls show that Kerry is gaining among the swing voters. Flail away… it only gets you exhausted, and there are always more gophers.