Here’s the opening graf from WaPo’s lede Monday editorial:
President Bush and his Azores allies yesterday gave the United Nations one day to agree to decisive action on Iraq. In the event that there is no such decision today, Mr. Bush will probably announce a second deadline, this time addressed to Saddam Hussein. If neither ultimatum proves effective, which seems likely, tens of thousands of American military personnel will be ordered on a mission to disarm Iraq and remove its dictator by force. In our view, military action has been made necessary by Saddam Hussein’s repeated defiance of U.N. disarmament orders; we believe Mr. Bush is right to go forward despite opposition from France and other nations. Mr. Bush spoke angrily about France’s threats of vetoes in the Security Council, but he and Prime Ministers Tony Blair of Britain and Jose Maria Aznar of Spain also committed themselves to preserving the transatlantic alliance and the United Nations, which Mr. Bush stressed would have a role in the postwar reconstruction of Iraq.
So, the Post people are on board, and even seem to have dropped some of their objections to Bush’s diplomatic “efforts.” Fine. What’s interesting is that there are only two op-ed pieces — neither by first-string pundits. Fred Hiatt and Romanian president Ion Iliescu aren’t exactly George Will, Charles Kruathammer, or David Broder.
So where are the heavy hitters? Saving their best stuff for later. You’ll see a lot more action in Tuesday’s edition, after the final, final, really darn final effort at the UN.