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Where's my weapons of mass destruction?

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I am eternally losing things. My car keys, my pens, my notebooks. I recently had to purchase a second deodorant because I had cleverly hidden the first one in my sock drawer. But there are just some things that are too important to lose. For instance, I always know where my toothbrush is, as well as my glasses and my towel. I can be trusted with truly important items like the keys to family members' houses so that they have a place to go when they've locked themselves out. Knowing my own tendency to lose things, I pay attention when somebody tells me that a particular item is important and must not be lost, especially, oh, I don't know. . .Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Apparently, Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction have been misplaced. Not that anybody's worried. They're looking in the last place they remember having them. That always works. Except when you never had them in the first place.

Which, not to put too fine a point on it, is where we are with the whole weapons of mass destruction issue. We never knew for sure that they existed, but we gambled that they did and took out a completely independent (and formerly US backed) government.

And now the finger pointing begins. Who said that we knew for sure? Who was so gung ho for this war? Who backed the president? Was the president just avenging his daddy?

I won't be the one to tell you that the president didn't maneuver this whole thing or that he wasn't trying to do what his dad didn't. After all, it's possible. It's also possible that he was manipulated as well. Either way, I expect that W. will have some explaining to do for somebody, whether it be the United Nations or God. Without finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, it may be that American relations with other Middle Eastern countries will become even further stressed.

But as far as I can see, one explanation he doesn't owe is one to you, the American public. Because he didn't do a single thing without the wholehearted support of the majority of Americans.

Those few of us, minority that we were, who asked for proof and requested evidence of wrongdoing before the invasion, were called unpatriotic and told to (here I am actually quoting) "love it or leave it!"

Just for one teensy-weensy little example, take the Dixie Chicks (please somebody take the Dixie Chicks!). They actually had the guts to speak out publicly against W. and his policy in Iraq. Now let's think real hard. How did their public declaration of uncertainty go over? Like a punk rocker at a Dixie Chicks concert, I'd say. Meanwhile, the Toby Keith anthem "Let's Kick Some Ass" is number one, um, with a bullet (hee hee).

Purely as a side note, the publicity-crazy way the Chicks handled their near-disaster was really distasteful. It made their comments seem less like honest rebellion and more like a publicity stunt. I mean, what true rebel appears naked on the cover of Entertainment Weekly? And no true rebel immediately retracts her politically charged statement simply because record sales might plummet.

Admittedly, the Dixie Chicks formerly appealed to a conservative crowd. But I think the majority of Americans were ready to spill some blood and get some payback for 9/11, and most people just didn't require that much evidence. So here we are.

In fairness, I must give the finger-pointers credit over certain other Americans who are walking around with their fingers so firmly entrenched in their ears, they've probably accumulated a couple of inches of earwax. One such person, who shall remain nameless but who happens to be an egotistical, conservative talk show host, is still wondering where those weapons of mass destruction are and who has them.

The media has some culpability here as well. Rather than asking the hard questions, all of the major news outlets were hopping on the war bandwagon and booking rooms for reporters with each and every American unit in Iraq. It is, in fact, entirely possible that there were more media personnel in Iraq than there were Marines at the time of the original invasion. At this point, there's no such thing as news coverage. It's all just reality TV, and the news channels were ready to rake in their share of the ratings for once.

It seems likely that the president will take more heat for this war if Iraq's WMDs are able to stay on the lam. As the country's leader, he's responsible and will have to deal with whatever diplomatic/political problems result from the situation. But frankly, the American public should just lay off the guy. It's true that ultimately we as Americans were all fed a line of bullshit. But let's face it. Not very many of us actually spoke up then and said, "Hey! This tastes like crap." So in the end there's no use sitting around and complaining that it left a bad taste in our mouths.

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