Today's AP story about 550 metric tons of yellowcake being shipped from Iraq to Canada is winging its way through the GOPer crowd. I say, bring it on!
Open Left has done a fine job explaining why this yellowcake isn't a big deal. But you wouldn't know that if you got your news from a handful of rightwing sources. So when you hear it repeated, take a minute and flip the story on its head. It's a story ripe for pushback -- the right response is a very effective tool.
For one thing, this yellowcake has been sitting around since 1981, when Israel bombed Iraq's nuclear reactor. For twenty seven years, this yellowcake has been gathering dust. It's not weapons-grade material, though of course it could be, were it refined. But it wasn't. If Saddam Hussein had been hell bent on building nuclear weapons, he had the yellowcake.
And that's another reason it's fun to push back on this story. "Yellowcake" is short hand for "Remember when President Bush lied to Congress and the American people about Saddam's WMD program?" Well, not only was Saddam not attempting to buy yellowcake from Africa, he actually had a stockpile. Which he wasn't using.
So if you see the Yellowcake story presented as proof that Bush was right, grab it for your own. Remember: every time an American says the word "yellowcake," somewhere a neocon sheds a tiny tear.