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How Flawed Was The Reporting?

A Question Of Trust        (Tarjottu Time-lehteen 24.7.2003. Ei julkaistu)


"How flawed was the case for going to war against Saddam?" By asking this you are already pronouncing the verdict "guilty". But the article itself looked very "flawed". Many facts and details of a process (much diligent work, I guess) - yet flawed reporting. What was missing? Two basic things. First: Your anti-war and anti-Bush attitude was (again?) revealed in such a way as to make the critical reader wonder what happened to your objectivity since there was no serious attempt at trying to see the war in a larger context. The case for this war was not based on the WMD aspect alone but on Saddam's person and his tyranny. Even without nuclear weapons, Iraq, under Saddam's rule, would have been a real threat either alone or in cooperation with al-Qaeda or other terrorist networks. To reject this is sheer idealism. The polls, referred to toward the end of the article, agree with the point the administration was making.

Secondly: You seem to be focusing mainly on "the 16 words". Is this a reasonable way to analyze a speech or any text, for that matter? Certainly not. The report seems to have lost sight of one fundamental prerequisite for any (scientific or other truthful) writing, namely epieikeia. This old Greek word means reasonableness, fairness, equity. Not only Plato used it; Martin Luther praised reasonabless in communication. In western literary tradition truth easily becomes untruth if epieikeia is forgotten. Your explanation that the16 words were "emblematic of larger concerns about Bush's reasoning" miss the point since other, even more important factors and concerns, were included in the reasoning. Swallowing the camel and straining out a gnat (Matthew 23:24) is not good for anybody's credibility.

The "16 words" may become the "16 tons" of ore loaded - not on Bush, but on the backs of those who forget objectivity and epieikeia. Please, stick to these two and make them a trademark of the magazine. There is no point in just getting "another day older and deeper in debt" as the song puts it, and, in owing, perhaps, something more to the truth.

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