Can we have a show of hands, here? You? You? Or, maybe You?
While lecturing a group of what he alleged to be representatives and diplomats of "84 countries united against a common danger and joined in a common purpose," George Bush last Friday followed up ghoulishly rhetorical questions that could not be answered, with ridiculous rhetorical assertions that could not be proved -- let alone understood.
There may have been 84 people present, but after a headcount of National Security Council members, administration folks, members of the armed forces and a covey of media-savvy congressmen, one might reasonably question the actual size of the international "coalition" in the room.
No matter. It was a campaign speech for media consumption -- "braying points" to be passed on to a gullible world. Bush's hostage audience might as well have been brightly smiling Ken and Barbie dolls, programmed to ram their little hands together in faux applause whenever he pauses, looks around earnestly, and smirks.
"The fight is between civilization and terror," Bush said, interrupting his two-year mantra to ominously remind Spain and Poland there is no neutral ground between the two. "NO neutral ground between good and evil." he repeated, and paused, allowing the sharp edge of his "you're either with us or you're with the terrorists" doctrine to sink in amidst the applause.
What does it take to admonish other world leaders it is their duty to fight terror stirred up by deadly, reckless action based on deliberate lies? Courage? Does it take courage to call Spain cowardly because it heeded the cries of 91-percent of its population and called a stop to drinking from the cup of madness -- courage to sneer at Poland, who rightfully resents being "misled" into war, and recoils at further sacrifice of its citizens?
No. It takes a nitwit.
I don't mean to be rude, but that's the only possible explanation. The synonym of nitwit is "fool," or a "simple-witted person." When used as a verb, fool means to "trick, dupe or delude." It could be argued that Bush owns that particular word...
But someone should remind Bush there is a vast difference between leading the people and owning the people, and it is foolhardy to think otherwise. Americans can be an awesome collective force if enough of them realize they've been duped or deliberately misled into shedding innocent blood. Bush could face consequences for assuming anybody but the media will follow his rules -- the first of which is "pluck out your lying eyes and believe only what I tell you..."
"The people of Afghanistan are a world away from the nightmare of the Taliban," Bush boasted. "Citizens of Afghanistan have adopted a new constitution, guaranteeing free elections and full participation by women. The new Afghan army is becoming a vital force of stability in that country. Businesses are opening, health care centers are being established, and the children of Afghanistan are back in school, boys and girls."
Now, those of us with half sense and one eye -- who do occasionally read newspapers -- know the grisly reality of what's going on in Afghanistan. According to a March 8 Human Rights Watch (HRW) report, there is no stability in that ravaged country. In fact, the report says the United States is undermining efforts to restore the rule of law and endangering the lives of civilians by "using excessive force to make arrests, mistreating detainees and holding them indefinitely in a 'legal black hole' without any legal safeguards."
HRW documents accounts of US soldiers, acting on intelligence from tribal "sources," announcing their arrival at suspects' homes by "blowing doors open with grenades rather than knocking." They round up whole families and imprison them at US bases at Bagram, Kandahar, Jalalabad and Asadabad, where the report says there is "compelling evidence" detainees undergo "torture or cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment..."
When fools lie, people die.
Bush went on to tell his enthralled audience that, one year ago, our strong coalition "entered" Iraq to enforce United Nations demands, to defend security, and to liberate Iraq from the rule of a tyrant. What -- no weapons of mass destruction, no grave and gathering dangers -- no massive and sudden horror --no mushroom clouds?
Bush gave a sterling "Baghdad Bob" performance at the White House on Friday, gloating about success and peace in Iraq, while buildings exploded behind him -- body parts flew through the air. He failed to mention that we lost 19 soldiers just last week, but proudly maintained that every soldier, every aid worker and every Iraqi who has fought (and died?) "can look with pride on a brave and historic achievement. They've served in freedom's cause," he said fervently, "and that is a privilege..."
To Bush, recognition as a noble, called-by-God war president is so neat it will be the centerpiece of his presidential campaign. He sees the bloody chaos in Afghanistan and Iraq, which he prefers to describe as "liberating more than 50 million people from tyranny" as his greatest achievement, and foolishly plans to ride it back into the White House in November. So, Bush appeared to be in full-metal campaign jacket when he happily told the assembled group -- with Condi Rice nodding approvingly behind him --
"It is a good thing that the men and women across the Middle East, looking to Iraq, are getting a glimpse of what life in a free country can be like."
Are you listening, freedom-loving Americans?
Bush just keeps making the pie of lies higher and higher, trusting the evil machinations of Karl "turd blossom" Rove, the legions of pundits marching in lockstep to media assignments from within the network of right-wing "think tanks," and his buddies in the corporate media to clean it all up for him.
Fortunately, in spite of all this, Americans are beginning to count the body bags. They're remembering the warnings and reports of weapons inspectors Scott Ritter, Hans Blix, David Kay and, albeit belatedly -- Richard Butler. They're noticing that intelligent and experienced people within the administration -- for whatever reason -- are abandoning ship just months before the election. Courageous and dogged congressmen such as Democrat Henry Waxman and Republican Ron Paul, the brashly honest former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, respected former ambassador Joseph Wilson, and the latest -- Richard Clarke, terrorism specialist with a sterling track record under four US presidents -- are cracks in the dike of lies that the media is hard-pressed to plug.
Americans intuitively resent Bush's blocking, stonewalling and thwarting any investigation into why we're in this mess. Some, many of them Christians, are coming to their senses and acknowledging what they knew all along -- that even the most powerful man in the world lacks the spiritual ability to rid the world of evil, or to pass out freedom like God's own Santa Claus. They may even suspect it takes a nitwit to come up with such an intellectual absurdity.
Because of daily exposure of his scurrilous deceit and destructive lies that have wrought such damage at home and abroad, it's amazing that George Bush has the audacity to keep showing his face in public. But the village of nitwits it takes to enable him is shrinking steadily -- it's heartening to see observant Americans turn away from him in embarrassment; some even in disgust.
Maybe that's because they're beginning to notice it's not his face he keeps exposing...
I'm Sheila Samples, and I approved this message.
Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma freelance writer, a former US Army Public Information Officer and Axis of Logic contributing editor. Reprint permission is granted if it includes name of author and Axis of Logic designation. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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