Thursday, February 6, 2003

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INACCURATE HEADLINE OF THE WEEK: "Asia unswayed by Powell’s data." The first sentence of this International Herald Tribune story seems to buttress the headline:

"Initial reaction from Asian countries on Thursday indicated that most remained unmoved by Secretary of State Colin Powell's presentation of Iraq's noncompliance with United Nations mandates."

If true, this would certainly be newsworthy. Read the story, however. Malaysia is the only country with officials quoted as being unconvinced. In contrast, foreign policy leaders from Australia, Japan and the Philippines are all quoted with expressions of solid support for the U.S. position. The story acknowledges the extent of Japan's policy shift:

"Moving as close as Tokyo has come to backing the use of military force against Iraq, [Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro] Koizumi added: 'Iraq holds the key to whether this matter can be resolved peacefully or not.'"

By my count, then, shouldn't the headline read, "ASIA SWAYED BY POWELL'S DATA"?

To attribute this to the recent New York Times takeover of the International Herald Tribune would just be paranoid.... or would it?

UPDATE: Astute reader K.W. points out that geographically, Australia is not part of Asia. An error for both the IHT and myself. My proposed headline should instead read, "PACIFIC RIM SWAYED BY POWELL'S DATA."

posted by Dan on 02.06.03 at 11:24 AM