Bill Murchison

While American soldiers are dying in Iraqi ambushes and a new Iraqi governing council is taking root -- that is, while life, real and occasionally bitter, goes on -- the plaintiffs lawyer who wants to be our president is talking like, what else, a plaintiffs lawyer.

Quoth Sen. John Edwards: "When the president's own statements are called into question, it's a very serious matter." Who's calling the president's own statements into question? Well, as a matter of fact, Edwards is, with the able assistance of his competitors for the Democratic presidential nomination and also -- of course! -- the media. There's nothing like a self-fulfilling accusation, as we all know.

Edwards further explains to The New York Times: "It's important that we not lose sight of the bigger picture, which is the enormous failure that is looming in Iraq right now."

Failure looms? Honest? The Iraqis are about to run our victorious troops out of the country? Gosh. Maybe we should pack up now. No -- better idea: Elect John Edwards president. He'll turn the tide of history. Why, he'll sue the black-mustachioed so-and-sos, right?

I pick on Edwards at random: admittedly in part because it's fun to pick on superwealthy plaintiffs lawyers, who are always, just ask 'em, 175 percent right. The gentleman from North Carolina has plenty of media and Democratic help as he attempts to disable administration strategy for putting Iraq back together.

Silly stories are the stuff of any presidential campaign season. It's just a little sad when they intrude on the serious business of trying to make America, and Americans, safer.

It's hard to get sillier than the African uranium flap of last week, though you may be certain that efforts in this direction will be pursued zealously. The story is that the State of the Union speech was inadequately vetted; Bush spoke incautiously, if not deceptively, in telling us that "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

You remember that crucial phrase, of course. I don't myself. Stupidly, I let it swim past me. I hadn't dreamed of that which Democratic and media accusations seem to imply -- namely, that we went to war to block African-Iraqi uranium exchanges. The evidence at the time, as laid out by the likes of Colin Powell, not to mention Tony Blair and the president, seemed more damning than that.

Since the war ended in April, our feet have become tangled in, shall we say, non-essentialities, not the least of which is, where are all those weapons of mass destruction?

Bill Murchison

Bill Murchison is the former senior columns writer for The Dallas Morning News and author of There's More to Life Than Politics.
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