Wall Street Journal Editor Helps Instigate Iraq War
Connecting the Dots

Of Chipmunks, Smoke, and Mirrors

In case you are wondering what happened with the chipmunk loose in our dining room, here's the story: The cat came in through hole in the the screen door carrying a limp chipmumk that I thought was dead. Since I thought it was already dead and I was holding the baby, I didn't react fast enough to shoo her out before she put it down. But once the cat put the chipmunk down, it revived immediately and ran into a corner of the dining room.

Over Elizabeth's objections, I sat her in her playpen and went off to look for one of Peter's nets. (I use his nets more than he does.) I couldn't find a net, even though I know there are two here somewhere. So I opened the sliding glass door and tried to scare it into going out the door. Instead it ran further into the dining room. (That was where things sat when I wrote about it yesterday.)

As the thunderstorm was approaching and it was about time for me to go stand out in the rain to wait for Peter's school bus, I heard a sqeak from the kitchen. The chipmunk was under the xylophone on the kitchen floor. I closed all the doors to the kitchen and went outside to wait for Peter.

Peter got off the bus to quite a lot of thunder, lightning, and wind, but not much rain. (The National Weather Service advisory recommended that when the storm arrived one should "seek shelter." Instead, I was standing near tall trees and electric poles holding an umbrella in one hand and a baby in the other.) When he got off the bus, I explained the situation and asked where his nets were. He didn't know either.

We looked into the kitchen through the top of the Dutch door. The chipmunk was running aroung the kitchen trying to find a way out. I found a net duffel bag and a creature keeper and ventured into the kitchen. (Peter wanter to help, but I made him stay out.) The net bag was completely ineffective as a tool for chipmunk-catching. I ended up chasing the chipmunk from corner to corner.

I had a better idea. I opened the kitchen door that leads to the deck. This idea upset Peter, who was convinced that if the chipmunk set foot outside, it would be struck by lightning. He said, in a very theatrical tone, "You're going to kill the chipmunk and I don't want to watch."

I ignored him and chased the chipmunk out the door. Once it was out, I assured Peter that it was much safer outside with the thunderstorm than inside withthe cat.

Got to find the nets today. It's chipmunk season.

IN THIS MORNING'S NEWS, it seems the paint is chipping on some of the Pentagon's sets. How much of the war was made for television?

Fox News reports that marines were offered a key to the door of the hospital where Jessica Lynch was:

The U.S. commandos refused a key and instead broke down doors and went in with guns drawn. They carried away the prisoner in the dead of night with helicopter and armored vehicle backup -- even though there was no�Iraqi military presence and the hospital staff didn't resist.

Why unlock a door when you can break it down? I think I've seen this show. Was it Sledge Hammer? Or am I getting him confused with Maxwell Smart?

In other stage management, CBS reports:

The Baghdad bunker which the United States said it bombed on the opening night of the Iraq war in a bid to kill Saddam Hussein never existed, CBS Evening News reported Wednesday.

The network quoted a U.S. Army colonel in charge of inspecting key sites in Baghdad as saying no trace of a bunker or of bodies had been found at the site on the southern outskirts of the Iraqi capital, known as Dora Farms.

"When we came out here, the primary thing they were looking for was an underground facility, or bodies, forensics, and basically, what they saw was giant holes created. No underground facilities, no bodies," Col. Tim Madere said.

So what exactly did Rumsfeld mean when he said on the opening night of the war, "There's no question but that the strike on that leadership headquarters was successful. We have photographs of what took place. The question is, what was in there?" Perhaps what they had was a photo of a big explosion at the GPS coordinates to which they'd sent the missiles? Or aerial photos of a big hole in the ground?

Perhaps all this confusion is attributable to the smoke and mirrors of war. The Guardian asks readers to help track down who coined the phase The first casualty of War is Truth.

(News via technorati.com.)

TAX CUT UPDATE: Was it USA Today that just a few days ago ran the headline TAX CUT FAVORS FAMILIES? I remember thinking, families with names llike Rockafeller and  DuPont. Well, just to make sure this tax cut stays on-message, at the last moment, House and Senate leaders revised the package so as to prevent families with incomes less than $26,625 from benefiting from the receiving the increased child credit of $400 per child, austensibly to keep the cost of the tax cut package within $350 billion. A small decrease in the dividend tax cut could have accomplished this, however House and Senate leaders have their priorities.