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Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Listen Up To Stormin' Norman

Careful, folks - first Colin Powell was the voice of reason and moderation. Now he has flipped, so Schwarzkopf is the annointed one. But he may become convinced that war is necessary, too. He certainly seems open to the possibility:

"The thought of Saddam Hussein with a sophisticated nuclear capability is a frightening thought, okay?" he says. "Now, having said that, I don't know what intelligence the U.S. government has. And before I can just stand up and say, 'Beyond a shadow of a doubt, we need to invade Iraq,' I guess I would like to have better information."

He hasn't seen that yet, and so -- in sharp contrast to the Bush administration -- he supports letting the U.N. weapons inspectors drive the timetable: "I think it is very important for us to wait and see what the inspectors come up with, and hopefully they come up with something conclusive."

Would Schwarzkopf be uncomfortable rallying behind Bush? Hardly:

...he is closely allied with the Bush family. He hunts with the first President Bush. He campaigned for the second, speaking on military issues at the 2000 GOP convention in Philadelphia and later stumping in Florida with Cheney, who was secretary of defense during the 1991 war.

OK, if he remains unconvinced, that is, at a minimum, a PR puzzle the Administration needs to solve. More reasonably, if they cannot convince Schwarzkopf, how do they convince Joe Six-pack? Well, time will tell.

Or perhaps Bob Woodward at the WaPo will tell. Iraq, cheating on the WMD inspections? But the story does not mention nukes, which seemed to be Norman's hot button.

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