Political Urban Myths

Let’s have fun with a few popular political myths. 

The Case of the Missing Weapons

The New York Times went to press Monday with a breathless story about the disappearance of 380 tons of powerful explosive material in Iraq. The Kerry campaign quickly churned out a couple of newspaper ads to advance the shopworn thesis that the president had failed to plan for post-war action, and that the United States now was at the mercy of the largest arms heist in the history of humanity! Well, no.  Consider a few factoids: The explosives, which were in a powdered form that would do no harm and would attain lethality only after some fairly complex manufacturing processes, vanished before U.S. forces arrived at the Al Qaaqa arms facility on April 10, 2001. Jim Miklaszewski of NBC blew the whistle on the Times report; he was embedded with the Army’s 101st Airborne, which first secured the site. Secondly, let’s put the theft in perspective. Saddam Hussein reportedly shuffled around some 600,000 tons of explosives and munitions before the war. Coalition forces have retrieved about 40 percent of that amount — an estimated 240,000 tons. We’re talking about a comparative capgun here.

Several other points deserve mention: The Kerry critique aims at slamming the president, but hits the American military instead. It accuses Tommy Franks & Co. of a catastrophic oversight. This may explain why Gen. Franks has endorsed George W. Bush.

Furthermore, the story could do for the street credibility of the New York Times what the 60 Minutes II piece did for Dan Rather’s (Ironically, Matt Drudge says CBS had planned to run the story on Sunday – Halloween – thereby producing a last-second firestorm the White House couldn’t possibly extinguish). Roger L. Simon drives the point home.

The Draft

A bunch of people have fallen for the bogus claim that the president plans the reinstate the draft. Sen. Kerry hasn’t done anything to discourage the speculation.  Indeed, he says that there’s a “great potential” for conscription should the president win a second term. Retired military officer, historian and columnist Ralph Peters blows the whole thing out of the water.

Quagmire

If you want a quagmire, forget about Baghdad and concentrate on Washington, D.C., the single most Democratic jurisdiction in America. The city once again has become America’s murder capital according to FBI statistics, with a higher mortality rate than Baghdad.

Vote Fraud Update (partial)

More than 1,000 Ohioans marched from the Statehouse to Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell's office Monday to protest recent decisions by the state's top elections official specifying that provisional ballots will be counted only if they are cast in the proper precinct.

Bogus voter registration forms are popping up in Georgia and possibly in Wisconsin. While the NAACP is defending its effort to register voters in jails, scaring Republicans.

More election-related violence is on the rise. In South Florida impassioned Republicans and Democrats duke it out at rallies and the polls. Citing incidents of violence at Bush campaign offices around the country, the GOP is asserting Democratic partisans are intimidating voters. The Bush campaign lists more than 40 examples since July, including the burglary from campaign offices of two laptop computers in Seattle; a banner in Thousand Oaks, Calif.; petty cash in Spokane, Wash.; and break-ins last Friday in both Flagstaff, Ariz., and Cincinnati.

That’s all for now…. More tomorrow.

Share your thoughts with Tony. E-mail him at tonysnow@foxnews.com.