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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Republican War on Truth

The three day weekend is over. We've had our burgers and bratwurst on the grill, our day at the beach, our small town parades, and now it's time to get back to work. Not all of us were able to take time off, however. Some of us had to keep working, slinging BS.

Associated Press:

Vice President Dick Cheney on Saturday urged the 978 new graduates of the U.S. Military Academy to provide leadership to troops fighting terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Noting that West Point is about 50 miles north of where terrorists struck lower Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2001, the vice president said, "Nobody can promise us we won't be hit again."


"We're fighting a war over there because the enemy attacked us first," Cheney said. "These are men who glorify murder and suicide. Terrorists are defined entirely by their hatreds."

It's shameless, the way the Bush administration and the GOP continue to tie Iraq to 9/11. Dick Cheney's never been one to let the truth get in the way of propaganda and there's no change here. He's saying that 9/11 is the reason for the war in Iraq, despite the fact that President Bush himself admitted, "We've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with the September the eleventh." It was a rare moment of candor -- and one that Bush has rarely revisited.

This myth, that invading Iraq was a response to 9/11, is something that the right is having a damned hard time putting down. No one made this clearer lately than House Minority Leader John Boehner, who wept on the House floor as he too slung the BS.

Think Progress:

...After 3,000 of our fellow citizens died at the hands of these terrorists, when are we going to stand up and take them on? When are we going to defeat them? Ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you, if we don't do it now, and we don't have the courage to defeat this enemy, we will long, long regret it. So thank you for the commitment to get the job done today.

Good question, John. When are "we going to stand up and take them on?" Boehner was arguing in favor of the Iraq war funding bill -- the bill dems caved on -- not actually fighting terrorism. He wasn't crying over the fact that Osama bin Laden is still out there somewhere, free and very happy that we're dicking around in Iraq. He was still pushing the lie that 9/11 and the Iraq war have something to do with each other.

People have compared 9/11 to Pearl Harbor, but there's one difference. After Pearl Harbor, the US went to war with Japan. After a bunch of cultists that included zero iraqis attacked us on 9/11, we attacked Iraq. It's like responding to Pearl Harbor by invading Tibet --more than a little pointless and a lot less than helpful.

Another piece of BS is that terrorists attacked us because 'they hate our freedom.' Bin Laden was out there someplace saying, "Look at these americans vote! Ooooh! I'm so enraged!" So, he attacked the only free country in the damned wide world. You see a problem with that, right? Yeah, there are plenty of free countries in the world -- in fact, many freer countries. But al Qaeda chooses one halfway around the world to strike a blow against freedom.

This fable came to a head at the GOP presidential debates. When candidate Ron Paul told the truth -- as determined by the CIA, the 9/11 commission, and anyone with a functioning brain -- Rudy Giuliani called it "an extraordinary statement" and demanded that Paul retract it. What was this outrageous truth? That we've dicked around with the middle east for decades and all it's done is piss everyone off.

Inconceivable! Was Paul really trying to say that terrorists are motivated by things we might be able to understand? "They attack us because we've been over there," Paul said. "We've been bombing Iraq for 10 years. We've been in the Middle East [for years]. I think (Ronald) Reagan was right. We don't understand the irrationality of Middle Eastern politics. Right now, we're building an embassy in Iraq that is bigger than the Vatican. We're building 14 permanent bases. What would we say here if China was doing this in our country or in the Gulf of Mexico? We would be objecting."

How dare he suggest that terrorist don't do the things that they do simply because they're evil! They're like the devil or The Joker or something -- they only commit crimes for the sake of committing crimes. Didn't he get the memo?

Bush and Republicans have married the propaganda they wrote before the war and now they're stuck with it. Never mind that none of it made a damned bit of sense then and even less now. They have to keep pushing the crap or admit that they've all made a terrible, terrible mistake. Somewhere along the line, admitting mistakes became a proscribed course of action in the GOP playbook. Better to drive directly off the cliff than to admit you lost the highway a few miles back.

The fact that the vast majority of Republican presidential candidates are still pushing the notion that invading Iraq was the best idea anyone ever had is enough to reject them. Ron Paul, the one truthteller, probably doesn't stand a chance of getting through the Republican primaries -- it's Republican voters who choose their nominee and they're still buying the BS. They think Bush is doing a crappy job of fighting the Iraq war, but are still on board with the broader argument. They'll choose a nominee who wants to keep fighting and ignore reality. That means Ron Paul isn't their guy.

I've said it before, but there's a real strong strain of Republican thought that argues that you get to choose what's true. These are the global warming deniers, the creationists, and -- now -- the people who believe that terrorists are motivated entirely by evil. There's a racist tone to this, as well. Since middle easterners attacked us on 9/11, we can attack anywhere in the middle east and be fighting the right people. Never mind that this reasoning would've had us fighting China or Korea in WWII. It doesn't matter, Asia's Asia and the middle east is the middle east -- close enough is good enough, since they're all the same. Who can tell them apart anyway?

It's hard to imagine the majority of americans going for that message in '08. The Republican party's buried itself in its own BS and its candidate should be allowed to smother in it. The time for lies and propaganda has long passed.


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