"The Bush administration has set the last week in January as the make-or-break point in the long standoff with Iraq," The Washington Post reports today, "and is increasingly confident that by then it will have marshaled the evidence to convince the U.N. Security Council that Iraq is in violation of a U.N. resolution passed last month and to call for the use of force, officials said yesterday....
"In disclosing their plans, administration officials offered the clearest timetable to date of how they would like to see the inspections process brought to a head. They are pointing to Jan. 27, when Blix is scheduled to make his first substantive report to the Security Council...."
Hmm, January 27. Oh, by the way, when is the State of the Union address?
Gosh, what a coincidence.
Remember 1986, when NASA chose to launch the space shuttle Challenger despite cold weather in Florida that threatened the craft -- on the day the State of the Union address was to take place, a speech expected to focus on education and the teacher on Challenger's crew? (This is not a crackpot theory, by the way -- see "Background" here for evidence that Reagan was going to talk about the Challenger in the SoU, and scroll down to the last paragraph here for evidence of pressure to hold the launch date.) Well, expect something similar this year -- expect Bush to use his own beating of war drums as a major news event that will launch his agenda. He'll go before a frightened nation and tell us not to fear -- if we pass all the GOP's tax cuts and approve all the Federalist Society judges, God will save the Republic.
What a shameless bastard.