times like these that make you wish they'd developed a reality-based version
of the Bush Presidency.
If Nixon lied and Reagan-Bush dissembled, then these folks have done nothing less than shape shift the truth to their own will, much as primitive man once learned to work metal to make tools. With a desperate election coming in just over 200 days, Mr. Bush and his boss, Dick Cheney, have been very busy translating unpleasant actual events into soft patriotic newspeak.
Consider Baghdad. Everything's going great in Saigon on the Tigris.
Just listen to L. Paul Bremer, if you can hear him over the small arms fire.
Our glorious Neocon-led victory in Iraq is packaged for the world by Mr. Bremer's Coalition Provisional Authority infoganda team of loyal right-wing retainers. They called the media's honest news coverage of Iraq "extraordinarily one-sided," with its focus on dramatic, bloody events. Ms. Rend Rahim, Representative of the Iraqi Governing Council (IGC) to the United States, said, "the reality is nothing like what you see on television."
She's absolutely right...
What you don't see on television is 1,400 nervous armed U.S. patrols a day, many of them terrorizing innocent Iraqi civilians and inciting the rest. Mr. Bush promised the Iraqis "democracy" and then proceeded to stifle local opposition media and diddle with the free election process. Why not? It worked for him in America.
What you don't see on television is over a hundred twenty thousand brave troops who know they've been screwed and lied to but still fight on. No single experience in a person's youth clarifies “patriotism” like zipping a dead buddy into a body bag. Our kids, some still on patrol without the latest body armor they were promised, are dying now in handfuls because the fools that sent them to Iraq with no exit plan simply want to get re-elected.
What you don't see on television is the solemn return of our honored military dead to Dover Air Force Base. The constant flow of coffins has been moved indoors, and the Bush folks have barred the Press. If a young American falls in this war and there's nobody there to report it, does he still make a sound?
What you don't see on television is all those parents who looked up from making dinner to find two unsmiling Military Officers at their door with a devastating form letter from the always smiling Don Rumsfeld. This horrid scene has been replayed about twice a day for the last year. Most of our kids have died since Mr. Bush flew out to the carrier on May 1st and declared non-victory.
Even if television hadn't been invented, over 600 American families would have still lost their kids. The WMD search would still be a lie. Thousands of Iraqis would have still died or been wounded since Saddam fell. The majority Shiite Militias would still be in the streets, far from the "Sunni Triangle," demanding we leave. The Bush Family's do over feud with Saddam linked to the "War on Terror" would still be a loser. Your grandkids would still be stuck with the bill. The upcoming Iraqi Civil War would still be on. Mr. Cheney's boast that they'd greet us like heroes would still be hubris. Mr. Rumsfeld's negligent "War on the Cheap" would still be a vicious deadly fraud.
War is never cheap, for the real cost is not money, it's bright young dreams cut short and sweet lives unlived.
Even if television hadn't been invented, Ahmed Chalabi would still be a lying son of a bitch. Nervous Generals would still finally be admitting we need more troops on the ground. L. Paul Bremer would still have staged a "good news" conference in Baghdad last week, on the same day the U.S. State Department issued a Travel Warning for the place. If Iraq is too dangerous for our heavily armed troops, the U.N., or the Red Cross, then maybe the "good news" isn't getting out because there isn't any, and this sinkhole isn't worth one more American kid's life. We got rid of Saddam. Let the Iraqis sort out the rest as they have demanded.
TV News doesn't make stupid wars; stupid politicians do.
If you doubt that, just run "Tet offensive" on Google. We did this whole idiotic dance once before, and a hundred times more kids paid with their lives until we lost interest and bugged out.
The brave dead from Indo-China got a nifty monument with their names on it. Go there sometime and ask them if dying for a lie is a good death. The cold stone face of The Wall is a lasting tribute to the unquestioned valor of America's youth, and the untamed treachery of leaders without souls or honor. Mr. Bush's Iraq adventure has simply turned out to be Vietnam, with sand and camels.
If you question Mr. Bush's war you're “unpatriotic” -- this is a pretty sick joke from a guy who phoned in his Vietnam-era service, while keeping the crafty VC from over-running the plush country clubs of Houston. Now he calls vets who actually faced the enemy, “soft” on defense.
The cowardly, cynical Neocons who sent these 600 brave kids to die for the imaginary Iraqi A-Bomb should all be made to copy "The Charge of the Light Brigade" on the blackboard ten thousand times after they get out of jail.
In reality, the Reagan-Bush people sold the WMD to Saddam in the first place as he'll gladly point out if they ever put him on trial. Saddam, like Osama, was "our" man, bought and paid for by the Reagan-Bush CIA in the 1980s.
Even folks who still respect us in this world have watched America rapidly become an ethics-free corporate and fundamentalist religious fraud and wonder if we've lost our minds.
Meanwhile, if the Republican chicken hawks had only attacked Osama bin Laden with the full-out blood rage they've unleashed domestically on career civil servant Richard A. Clarke, victory would be have been theirs.
Mr. Clarke's villainy? It's not that he lied, it's that he wouldn't.
He stopped backing up the fabricated faux-macho legend of Mr. Bush's carefully crafted and imaginary "War on Terror." Since polls showed this to be the President's only real remaining strength in the public mind, you can imagine the White House response.
A team of dedicated character assassins took up positions on the Grassy Knoll of the media, indignantly attacking Mr. Clarke at every chance. Mr. Cheney, Mr. Rumsfeld, Ms. Rice, and a host of other loyal talking heads bravely seized and held the moral low ground. Fox News punk'd Clarke 24/7.
The Bush people have a lot to keep track of, as with any complex web of lies. Begin with their basic premise that 9/11 was unforeseen and unpreventable. The 9/11 Commission folks and now a majority of Americans apparently think not.
On CBS's 60 Minutes, in response to Mr. Clarke's initial charges, the Administration's no-name spokesman tried to convince correspondent Leslie Stahl that a critical White House Situation Room conversation on 9/12/01 in which Mr. Bush demanded Mr. Clarke somehow tie the terror attacks to Iraq, never happened. She retorted there were witnesses. He pleaded ignorance -- a sure bet when it comes Mr. Bush.
In the next few days various Bush talking heads attacked, and denied not only the conversation, but even that Mr. Bush was in the Situation Room on that day. Mr. Cheney visited Rush Limbaugh's show and said Mr. Clarke was "out of the loop." Only a week later, after other witnesses had spoken up, did Ms. Rice acknowledge that the conversation had occurred, even as she tried to further spin the content.
On Neocon Talk Radio shows, those bitter electronic madrassas of the Nut Right, a thousand jabbering bloviators, all reading from the same Karl Rove fax, questioned Mr. Clarke's manhood, sanity, memory, motives, and patriotism. Mr. Clarke, who served with honor in four Administrations, three of them Republican, was suddenly suspect of secretly diluting our precious bodily fluids.
Neocon Talk Radio, which began in the early 1980s as a work release program for disgraced Republican ex-cons, has taken over civilized political discourse in America.
If you dare disagree with the hunt for WMD they start making jokes about the size of your peepee. Question the war and you get "Dixie Chicked." Men who never served a day in combat called men who had "traitors" because they wouldn't go with the prevailing wind from Vichy.
Neocon Talk Radio proves the Big Lie still works. Remember "Freedom Fries?"
Mr. Bush and his people play to a core constituency that represents the very worst of our national fabric -- a sad coalition of greedy lawless corporate types, woman haters, environmental rapists, smarmy electronic religious leaders speculating on the sexual orientation of stuffed kiddy show characters, fundamentalist knuckle draggers whose love for the Lord is surpassed only by their hatred for anybody that doesn't believe as they do, and a wide cross section of unquestioning ignorance. A lot of guys who couldn't find Iraq on a map think their President is doing just fine there.
Thank heavens the Neocons have never let principal, the law, or fairness get in their way. For decades, the foolish Democrats tried to make government work, but the Republicans found out how to make it pay! Nixon was a crook, but at his most vile he had more honor than these guys. The Bush people promised us "family values." They failed to mention it would be those of the Gambino family.
If you have any questions about what happens when two oil men seize control of a democracy, check your local gas prices. They haven't been this high since the last time a Bush went after Saddam. The war in Iraq WAS all about oil -- not Iraqi oil, but the chance for OPEC to create a false shortage and cash in. The Bush people have made sure that no Saudi Prince's Rolls dealer will be left behind.
Meanwhile, Mr. Bush has plunged this country into endless debt, lost over 2,000,000 jobs, sold out the environment, passed a drug law preventing negotiated discounts for seniors, made a mess of and then not funded education, gutted NASA, limited a woman's right to choose, and barely begun to even identify the top 200 corporate and Wall Street crooks who wrecked thousands of people's lives and stole their life savings.
The same Republicans who spent $60,000,000 of your money trying to nail the Clintons for Whitewater have no problem with Mr. Bush's family being in business to this day with the bin Laden family. They have no problem with Dick Cheney still earning money from Halliburton. They have no problem that Ken Lay of Enron, a close Bush family friend, still has your money. Where is the pious inquisitor Kenneth Star when you need him?
The terrorist attacks of 9/11 were our worst day since Pearl Harbor but after Mr. Bush got the rubber stamp "friendly" 9/11 Report he demanded from a fawning Republican Congress, he fought the creation of and funding of the fully Independent 9/11 Commission, and only gave in when the widows of 9/11 shamed him publicly.
His people have since stonewalled at every turn as they try to run out the clock on the mandated investigation. If they're going to this much trouble to screw with the truth, what else are they hiding?
They hung Condoleezza Rice out to dry for two weeks then provided her to the panel, to get the Commission to only question Mr. Bush with Mr. Cheney present. The image of a mindless smiling sock puppet comes to mind.
In the face of a dangerous world, Mr. Bush's Homeland Security Administration is laying off airport screeners and almost all U.S. rail, air, maritime, and truck freight still moves without inspection. The same people who've wasted over a hundred billion dollars of your money on a destabilizing missile defense system that doesn't work have left this country open to attack from a hundred other means.
A dedicated enemy could wrap a fat nuke in a box marked 'Cocaine' and simply have ten "illegals" walk it into America. Nothing's been done to prevent this since 9/11, and they know it.
Ask yourself if you and we as a people are better off than we were four years ago.
If the answer bothers you, do keep in mind that the entire House and one third of the Senate can lose their jobs on November 2nd. Nothing scares politicians more than pissed off voters and the stark prospect of having to go back to honest work.
You can find them hiding behind their web site at http://thomas.loc.gov, hoping nobody notices how they're wasting your tax money. Look up your Representative and your two U.S. Senators and ask them how many more American kids have to die for Cheney-Halliburton. If you don't like the answer, then vote the bastards out.
A treasured old friend in England, who fancies all things American, e-mails: "Mr. Bush's USA has become something of a joke and a bully over here. Why would you lot ever elect such a fascist wanker?"
One writes back sheepishly: "We didn't actually 'elect' him. His Dad's friends bought him the job. It was a legacy deal, just like everything else he's ever done."
George W. Bush may have set the idiot rich kid business back a generation, but he does finally confirm that in America, anybody can grow up to be President.