Friday, November 18, 2005

We will be greeted as liberators

The Bush Administration seems to have decided that the key to recovering their lost popularity is a "push back" consisting, among other things, of accusations that those who now oppose the Iraq war are trying to rewrite history. Dick Cheney promised that he would throw the revisionists' words back at them.

Presumably he was talking about the words of the cowardly Democrats who voted for the Iraq War, who more than deserve to have their words thrown back at them IMO. But those who live in glass houses, like Dick Cheney...

Dick Cheney, about three days before the invasion of Iraq began in March 2003, said, "We believe [Saddam] has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons." Now this is a serious charge. It is hard to know what the mystery word "reconstituted" here was supposed to mean, but whatever Cheney meant by it, it is an adjective modifying the term "nuclear weapons," whose meaning Mr. Cheney's intended audience, the public, could be relied upon to understand. I certainly understood what he meant. Didn't you?

(Unlike the cowardly senate Democrats, I didn't pretend to believe him, not having lost the ability to ask myself the important question, "would we _really_ undertake a ground invasion of a country we knew to have nuclear weapons, like, say, North Korea?" Seemed to me, at the time, that the answer would be "no." The invasion preparations themselves seemed to indicate that claim was a deliberate lie. As indeed, in retrospect, it surely was. But I digress.)

In any case, in hindsight, in the light of facts now recognized by everybody in the known universe, Big Dick seems to have been caught in a major untruth. There were no nuclear weapons, reconstituted or otherwise. Bad intelligence? Well, if so, Mr. Cheney continued to get lots of it.

Dick Cheney claimed, as late as Oct. 10, 2003, long after everyone knew this charge was false, that Saddam Hussein had "an established relationship" with al Qaeda, and said that Iraq had trained al Qaeda in bomb-making and the manufacture of poison gas.

In fact he had been marketing his cherished Atta-Saddam connection since late 2001, when he said that the Atta-in-Prague story was "pretty well confirmed." The inconvenience that everyone who investigated the Atta-Saddam story found no evidence for it did not stop Cheney at all. Even as late as 2004 Cheney continued to insist that Iraq and Al Qaeda were connected, again using his favored phrase that they had an "established relationship."

For all I know he is still claiming it, even as the big Bush glass house shatters around him.

Cheney's English, like Republican English in general, has become a kind of Orwellian inversion of normal language, a Satanic record played backwards.

"WMD's exist" means they don't exist. War is peace. Up is down. Black is white. Clear cutting forests for pulpwood is a "healthy forest" initiative. Grandfathering antiquated, substandard coal-fired power plants so they can continue to billow out acid smoke is a "clean air" initiative. Selling our public lands at orders of magnitude below market value is "budgetary responsibility", the same responsibility that brought us, and continues to bring us, enormous debt thanks to tax giveaways to billionaires and publicly funded bribes in the form of bridges to uninhabited islands given to thinly populated Republican states with important Senate seats.

Republicans like John Cornyn, voting against casinos in his state as a favor to casino operators in another state, after having received a great honking campaign contribution as an incentive to do so from the Christian middleman between him and Jack Abramoff, its source, call it "voting your conscience." I am willing to bet Ralph Reed calls being the middleman for Jack Abramoff's bribes an exercise in "Christian family values."

Destroying the Front Range and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to provide a few more drops of oil for Republican Hummers is called an "energy initiative."

You'd think getting cut by the falling glass of Abu Ghraib would deter a serial liar like George Bush from ever lying again. But you'd be wrong. Serial lying is hard to cure. When Mr. Bush gives a speech in which he says "we do not torture," he actually means, in Republicanspeak, "of course we torture, and in fact the whole world knows it, and we are gonna keep doing it."

Once you realize that they say the opposite of what they mean, and they do it _really consistently_, it gets a lot easier to read the newspaper.

"We will be greeted as liberators."

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