The Search for WMJ

Many times over the last few years, current events brought a scene from the Simpsons to mind:

Homer, reporting on the results of Springfield’s attempt to rid the town of bears: “There’s not a single bear in sight–the ‘Bear Patrol’ is working like a charm”

“That’s specious reasoning,” Lisa retorts.

“Thanks, honey,” Homer says to her, adoringly.

“According to your logic,” she says, picking up a stone from their lawn, “this rock keeps tigers away”.

“Hmmm. How does it work?”

“It doesn’t.”

“How so?” Homer asks further.

“It’s just a rock,” she says.

“But I don’t see a tiger, anywhere.”

“Lisa,” concludes Homer, while pulling out his wallet, “I want to buy your rock.”

It’s not exactly parallel, but the latest bit of specious reasoning is that Iraq had WMD and the will to use them against U.S. troops. Fortunately, to hide them from Blix and the UN inspectors, they buried them so deeply that they couldn’t get to them, which is why we can’t find any WMD.

For a more directly on point application of this parable, see this discussion of the effectiveness of the PATRIOT act (from the site where google found the Simpson’s scene that I was looking for).


P.S. That’s not a typo in the title, the ‘J’ is for “Justification”.

UPDATE: For a somewhat different take on missing WMD, be sure to read yesterday’s commentary by Nick Kristof in the NYT, Missing in Action: Truth.