Tuesday, July 26, 2005

the weight of lies

Ran across this commentary yesterday and couldn’t help but share some bits of it. It comes from Milton Bass at the Berkshire Eagle, by way of the Smirking Chimp. (The rest of it is good, too.)

"TWO DIFFERENT people have mouthed the word to me in the past few weeks. It's interesting in that they both used the same tone of voice, low, not quite a whisper but carefully as though they were proposing a plot against the establishment and who knows who might be listening.


They are talking, of course, about George W. Bush, the president of the United States, and when I asked why they were proposing this, the answer was that 'He lied to the American people.' The problem with this is that the American people have been lied to before as well as being lied to now, and they will be lied to again by whatever cabal takes over after this one finally grinds to a halt."

Unfortunately Mr. Bass never gets back to this point, but I think it’s critical. I understand the cynicism here; I get it. Yeah, he lied, and other people in power have lied, and will lie in the future. Yeah, I freaking hate being lied to. But I want Bush and Cheney impeached because I don’t believe in their ability – or their desire – to get us out of Iraq at all, let alone to manage any kind of an “engaged withdrawal.” This term is, of course, not my own – I’m borrowing here from the Dark Wraith and someone else from Slate (Fred Kaplan, maybe?) but I can’t find the link.

See, no matter how often the Chimp says he’ll get our troops home, he knows that Halliburton will remain forever, say hallelujia, amen, brothers and sisters. Since construction contracts are given to foreign companies (read: American) instead of local engineers and contractors, they will be effectively controlled by those companies – or by dummy corporations set up to assume the debts of the construction.

Which, when American troops levels do finally start to decrease, leaves W in the enviable position of being able to say (as he and Cheney have been doing for years) that they did what they said they would do. They kept their word. It’s like making a deal with the devil. The devil is smart and wily enough to keep the terms of a contract and subvert its intention at the same time – with no ethical qualms at all.

So I don’t think we’ll ever really be Out of Iraq, even if the troops do come home. I think we’re dug in deep, in ways that are much more pernicious than a traditional military occupation.

"And now that we are in this devastating war, the man who personally started it says we must keep going forward or all the sacrifices will have been in vain. The situation is so ironic, so utterly beyond reasonable comprehension that the Democrats are unable to present a reasonable alternative to the political situation. The Democrats have been attacked as having no core, no center, no leader capable of leading an opposition. Their problem is that they stand for the same decent things they have always stood for while the Republicans have gone so far beyond standards of reason and accountability that it is like dealing with people who are 'speaking in tongues.' You cannot make a rational compromise with those who believe their actions are promoted by a divine spirit.

To further confound the problem, there are so many charlatans, so many people of dubious integrity, covered by the Republican tent that dastardly deeds are committed daily under the imprimatur of the United States of America. In this very second, if you asked Vice President Dick Cheney if there are weapons of mass destruction concealed in Iraq, he would answer unequivocally that there were. If you asked him if Saddam Hussein had anything to do with the tragedy of 9/11, he would answer that he did."

Ah, Dick. Last year I did make an effort to watch some of the debates, but one in particular caught my attention – the Cheney v. Edwards debate. Anyone remember it? Did anyone else get a scary sinking feeling in their gut as they watched Edwards get all excited like a freshman cheerleader, while Cheney sat still as a lizard, a look of slight (but completely deniable) disgust on his pathologically reptilian features?

I think I knew then that the election was a lost cause for the Democrats, in my state, anyway. Enough people would find comfort in the unemotional, amoral authoritarianism of the current Veep. More than enough people would find the expressive enthusiasm of John Edwards to be kind of scary – to support such a candidate would require a level of involvement that some folks just weren’t ready for. But Big Daddy Dick would take care of things and you wouldn’t even need to know what he was doing. (Of course, he’d slaughter your barn animals and piss acid on your beans while you slept, too, but let’s not think about that today – at least not until after the election.)

OK, how creepy is this – I’m writing about Cheney and a box of returned goods comes in – the customer name just happens to be “Dick Cheney.” *shiver*

So Dick gives me the willies because of his surface attitudes about … well, about everything. The other part is my troubling inability to read him. Maybe his dissociation from the truth (or the truth as it was five minutes ago, when it may have served his purposes to tell it, or part of it) runs so deep that it’s essentially schizophrenic, and maybe he doesn’t even realize it.

"There are so many absurdities connected to the administration of George W. Bush that you wouldn't believe them if they were presented in a novel or movie plot. The only possible reaction of a rational person is banging one's head against a wall or sitting back and letting the world go by."

The DW bulletin board has a smiley icon that I particularly like – a little red head slamming itself against a brick wall. I’ve used it myself several times.


In other news, Jane Fonda has come out against the war in Iraq. A bus tour, no less. Joy. I wonder if her new-age love-and-self-knowledge-mongering will be more ammo for the conservative war tribe. (Sorry, Jane, it's just that your prose is sometimes so - oh, what's the word - annoying.) What am I saying – everything is ammo for the war tribe.


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