Gone Backpacking

I’m on way to do some backpacking in my native Pacific Northwest and may not return to the blog for as much as two weeks. Bearing in mind Andrew Card’s famous dictum in the run-up to the Iraq war, “From a marketing point of view, you don’t introduce new products in August,” it may be a relatively quiet few weeks. On the other hand, it was August 26, 2002, almost exactly five years ago now, that Dick Cheney launched his campaign, telling the Veterans for Foreign Wars convention, “Many of us are convinced that Saddam will acquire nuclear weapons fairly soon.” 

America in the year 2002 must ask careful questions, not merely about our past, but also about our future. The elected leaders of this country have a responsibility to consider all of the available options. And we are doing so. What we must not do in the face of a mortal threat is give in to wishful thinking or willful blindness. We will not simply look away, hope for the best, and leave the matter for some future administration to resolve. As President Bush has said, time is not on our side. Deliverable weapons of mass destruction in the hands of a terror network, or a murderous dictator, or the two working together, constitutes as grave a threat as can be imagined. The risks of inaction are far greater than the risk of action.” 

If, as reported, Cheney and many of its neo-conservative advisers both in and out of the administration believe that no future president, other than George W. Bush, is likely to give the order to attack Iran’s nuclear program, it is quite possible we may see some revving up for a new product this month. And blaming Iranian intervention for the situation in Iraq has already become a leitmotiv of the administration’s excuses for the continuing violence and the lack of progress on the political front in Baghdad. So August bears watching on the p.r. front (although I hope to be watching some bears). 

Jim Lobe

Jim Lobe served for some 30 years as the Washington DC bureau chief for Inter Press Service and is best known for his coverage of U.S. foreign policy and the influence of the neoconservative movement.



  1. enjoy the trip. remember, you do not have to outrun the bear – just the other guy. see ya when you get back. your blog is a daily stop. good stuff.

  2. Enjoy the Cascades if that’s where you’re headed, Mr. Lobe. You certainly deserve some respite from the Dick Cheney administration’s shenanigans.

  3. Jim,

    Where in the grerat NW, Oregon or Washington?


    [editors note:

    Jim is backpacking in the Washington Cascades.]

  4. Jim,

    You can come back now. The Neo-Cons have come out of summer hibernation and we need you. Rove’s gone, Cheney’s left, and the Iranian Pasdaran has joined Al-Qaeda as Officially Designated Terrorists. Something’s up. Come back and explain. You the Man!

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