Danish premier Anders Fogh Rasmussen is scheduled to visit President Bush at the White House on May 28. Indications are mounting that the meeting might be a bit less friendly than usual, given the Iraqi prisoner treatment scandal that erupted last week. Of course, this top-level visit was planned months ago, so that latest unpleasantness is by no means the meeting’s motivation. But prisoner treatment is not the only burr under the Danish saddle, by far. To a great extent (although with less visibility, since there’s less world interest), the Danes are in the same boat as the British: having unreservedly backed the Americans in the approach to and conduct of the War in Iraq, they are now reaping that whirlwind, particularly in view of the failure to turn up of the weapons of mass destruction that were to many the war’s main justification. In April Danish defense minister Svend Aage Jensby resigned as pressure mounted within the Danish parliament, the Folketing, over the present government’s allegedly misleading behavior that led Denmark to support and participate in the war – although admittedly only to the extent of the dispatch one non-combatant ship. (Still: an example of the enforcement of public official accountability that other countries would be wise to follow? You make the call.) (more…)
“Weapons of Mass Destruction”: That was the mantra this political leader cited over and over in the run-up to the War in Iraq last spring, and to him Saddam Hussein’s possession of such weapons was the irrefutable fact justifying what was about to happen. This was despite the fact that this leader never really took the time to examine the supplied evidence on its own merits, to arrive at his own independent assessment of it. Now, of course, his government is trying to play down WMD, insisting that that was only one of the rationales given for toppling Hussein’s regime.
George W. Bush? Tony Blair? Of course. But I’m actually referring here specifically to Anders Fogh Rasmussen, prime minster of Denmark, according to the account entitled Denmark at War on a Lie in the Danish commentary newspaper Information. It looks like the Danish electorate is feeling similarly deceived (or, at least, has the right so to feel) as its American and British counterparts. And speaking of deception, you, dear reader, have just been hit once again with the time-honored journalistic trick of the non-specific article lead-in, taking you along what you think is familiar ground before suddenly swerving in a quite unexpected direction when specific details are finally supplied. What a great shtick! (more…)