Friday Aug 1, 2003

To the Editors of the New York Times,

After hearing Gail Collins on Washington Journal this morning, claiming that the New York Times news department never dabbles in opinion, it is illuminating to read Michael Gordon's coverage of the "latest theory": If Saddam did destroy his weapons, he must have had some evil design anyway. This is a particularly twisted way to rationalize the shock and awe that has been delivered. The theory may be the brain child of some other "expert" in denial. Nevertheless Gordon's analysis is not news at all: "Why did Iraq only grudgingly accede to inspections under the threat of military invasion if it had nothing to hide?" At least Mr. Gordon, unlike the President, is aware that Hussein did accede to inspections. Still it is remarkable that despite being reported widely, the fact that the CIA exploited UNSCOM does not come to mind when asking such a question. Tariq Aziz was quoted a year ago saying that regardless of how Iraq responded to coalition demands, it would be attacked. Under such an interpretation, which now appears to be quite accurate, why wouldn't a bit of grudging be in order? Excuse me, but the only conclusion I can draw from Gordon's analysis is that it was essentially an opinion piece.

Andy Deck
Lecturer, School of Visual Arts


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