The Nudnik File

Nudnik - n. U.S. colloq. Esp. in Jewish usage: a pestering, nagging, or irritating person

Wednesday, April 28, 2004


              Distractions
David Brooks, in yesterday's New York Times column, points to an important problem affecting Washington: the unseriousness with which much of Washington approaches the current war that we are in. Many have posited that the current battles in Fallujah and Najaf could very well be the defining battles of our attempt to transform Iraq. Yet much of the attention is on other "issues":

"And for the past 10 days, all of Washington has been kibitzing over the contents of Bob Woodward's latest opus, which largely concerns events that happened between 2001 and 2003. Did President Bush eye somebody else's dinner mint at a meeting? Was Colin Powell in the loop on Iraq? When did Bush ask the Pentagon to draw up war plans?

This is crazy. This is like pausing during the second day of Gettysburg to debate the wisdom of the Missouri Compromise. We're in the midst of the pivotal battle of the Iraq war and le tout Washington decides not to let itself get distracted by the ephemera of current events.

Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee did at least hear testimony last week on the political transition in Iraq. But they might as well have held hearings on the supplemental reappropriation cloture amendment for the deputy assistant under secretary of the Postal Services Review Board for all the media attention they received. No networks, save C-Span, provided coverage. You peered behind the witnesses and the room was practically empty. It looked like a Michael Moore book reading at the Citadel. Only a few papers wrote stories."


Luckily, the American people seem less distracted than their leaders and opinion-makers.
|| Nudnik 9:36 AM
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