Naked City

Hootie and the Blowhard

File Waco Tribune-Herald publisher Rowland Nethaway's Sept. 9 Austin American-Statesman column under the category "Dead on Arrival." Headlined "Attacking Iraq alone may be beneficial, costly" (pity the poor editor who had to come up with that one, instead of just spiking the piece), the column attempts to compare the situation of President George W. Bush -- who's considering unilateral war against Iraq -- with that of Augusta National Golf Club Chairman Hootie Johnson, who's considering whether to admit women to his men-only country club. Faced with the prospect of women's organizations putting pressure on TV sponsors of the Masters, Johnson "fired his sponsors." The first President Bush should have done the same, opines Nethaway -- that is, he should have ignored international objections to overthrowing Saddam Hussein and marched directly on Baghdad. Nethaway believes it was the underwriting provided by Saudi Arabia, Japan, Germany, "and other sponsors" of the Gulf War that persuaded the U.S. to pull back, when Bush I should have "fired his sponsors" and waged total war.

Setting aside the fact that the U.S. chose not to depose Hussein because it had no reliable replacement regime in the wings, does any rational, adult human being believe Hootie Johnson and his boys-only country club provide any conceivable analogy to war against Iraq and the specter of World War III? Someone should seize Nethaway's keyboard, before he writes more.

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