SARIN….By an odd chance I ran into talk show host Hugh Hewitt a few days ago at a local restaurant. I told him to be nicer to Matt Yglesias the next time he was on his show, but I gather that my attempt to bring a thin ray of sunshine into the hell pit of conservative talk radio didn’t work. You can read Hugh’s take on Matt’s latest appearance here; Matt’s take is here.

(Still no permalinks on Hugh’s site. Come on, Hugh, it’s not rocket science….)

Anyway, apparently Hugh’s obsession du jour (or de la semaine, more likely) is the sarin-filled rocket that blew up in Iraq a few days ago. I have to confess I haven’t yet paid any attention to this. After all, I got suckered by the “mobile weapons lab” (turned out to be for manufacturing hydrogen), and by the mortar shells found by the Danes (no blister agent after all), and by the plans for a nuclear bomb (turned out to have been buried in a rose garden for over a decade), so I figured I’d let the sarin story age for a week or two before I jumped on board. Hell, even Donald Rumsfeld is keeping a low profile on this (“We can’t say something that’s inaccurate,” he told reporters, apparently with a straight face).

In any case, one lone shell of dubious vintage hardly seems like much of a vindication for George Bush’s claims that we were in mortal danger from Saddam’s WMD, but I guess the war apologists have to grasp at any straws they can these days. After all, there’s not much else left to grasp at when even former CENTCOM commanders are telling Congress, “I believe we are absolutely on the brink of failure. We are looking into the abyss.”

Dark days indeed….