And now the most insightful two minutes in television, the wartime grapevine:
Gallup-ing Into Approval?
A new Gallup poll out today, taken after the president's speech last night, shows 65 percent of Americans approve of Bush's decision to go to war if Saddam Hussein does not accept Bush's ultimatum to leave Iraq. Thirty percent disapprove of such a move. In addition, 68 percent of those polled said they believe the United States has done all it can to solve the crisis diplomatically, 28 percent disagreed. Even in Britain, 51 percent of Britons now have confidence that Bush will make the right decisions on Iraq, compared with 43 percent who do not, that according to a poll in London's Guardian newspaper. Furthermore, British support for war has risen nine points in the last month to 38 percent, and disapproval has dropped eight points to 44 percent.
Footing the Bill
As Democrats led by Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle blame the Bush administration for diplomacy's failure, one prominent Democrat is putting the blame elsewhere. Former President Bill Clinton said the current situation arose because "Iraq and other nations were unwilling to follow the logic of Resolution 1441." Clinton also said of Saddam's disarmament, "He has done only what he thinks is necessary to keep the U.N. divided on the use of force." But Clinton's remarks, appearing in the London Guardian, were written in support of his old friend Tony Blair, not President Bush.
The Truth Hurts
Meanwhile, critics of Saddam's regime are producing what they say is new evidence of his brutality. Ann Clwyd, a member of British parliament and head of an organization called Indict, which is involved in gathering war crimes evidence, cites an Iraqi woman's description of the regime's use of a plastic shredder -- on people. "Men were dropped into it and we were ... made to watch. Sometimes they went in head first and died quickly. Sometimes they went in feet first and died screaming."
Reason for Return
A staff writer for the Fayetteville Observer in North Carolina, embedded with a regiment of the 82nd airborne division, was sent home from Kuwait. She did not get scared and she did not get hurt. Instead, she got engaged to Maj. Mike Marti while in Kuwait. The two had been dating since before Marti's deployment there. But the paper's editor and publisher said Tanya Biank's status compromised her team's ability to fully cover the regiment if war begins.