Jim VandeHei of the Washington Post tells us that George Bush, who had hoped to spend the summer ramming Social Security firecrackers down our throats, is being forced by his plummeting poll numbers to take a second look at shoring up the lies about how peachy keen everything is in Iraq. Not that Bush ever looks at poll numbers, or spends any time worrying about what the street rabble thinks — but with elections coming up, some Frights (Friends on the Right) are beginning to nervously gnaw their fingernails…
One of the more reasonable ones is South Carolina’s Senator Lindsey Graham, who laments that the war is lasting much longer and isn’t nearly as much whizbang fun as Bush promised. Graham says more people are dying than originally thought, and the insurgency against the illegal occupation isn’t following Bush’s democracy-and-freedom-spreading plan. Although Graham didn’t say how many dead "people" were acceptable to him at the outset of this war we were lied into, or whether they are our people or their people, he did suggest if Bush has either a victory plan or an exit plan, maybe he should share them with the rest of us.
White House communications director Dan Bartlett, whom VandeHei promotes to a Bush "senior adviser," is quick to proclaim that Bush thinks being commander-in-chief is really really neat and really hard work, but this won’t stop him from "continuing to educate" the American people about the conduct of war and our strategy for victory. Maybe Graham should sign up for the course. Our upcoming education will consist of blanket media coverage of Bush meeting with Iraqi’s puppet Prime Minister Ibrahim Jafari at the White House for the first time ever, and Bartlett announced with eyes as wide as a runaway bride that Bush will dedicate "several" speeches to the war in the upcoming days, one a major address on the first anniversary of Iraq’s sovereignty.
I can hardly wait for next week’s class. I can see it now — we got ’em on the run…smokin’ them buggers out…bringin’ ’em to justice. That’s our strategery (sic), Bush will say, and Bush is never wrong and he never backs down and God Bless ‘Merica. Then, surrounded by frantically waving flags and thunderous applause — as is his wont, Bush will wink, smirk, break patriotic wind and moon-walk out of the room. Class dismissed.
Of course, VandeHei won’t be there, but he did admit, or at least didn’t deny, that Bush’s "new approach" will be the same happy-face rhetoric of the great progress being made in Iraq. In other words, just more lies. Neither Bush nor the shadowy warmongering chickenhawks who surround his throne whispering, "kill…kill…" in his ear have any intention of making changes to the policy — whatever that policy is — nor will they address a timeframe for bringing home US men and women who are being needlessly slaughtered at an increasingly alarming pace. Bush is adamant that the wicked evildoers will merely wait until the "day after" the occupiers leave and then there really will be a war.
Besides, if you stop and think about it, our troops are coming home — 1,722 of them have returned during Bush’s war — 57 of them just in the last 19 days — and they never have to go anywhere again. Tens of thousands of seriously wounded, horribly maimed or those infected with disease are back too. Just because we aren’t allowed to see them doesn’t mean they’re not there. Does it? I mean, really. If, like Bush says, he ‘preciates these heroes, ‘preciates the ultimate sacrifice they made for the homeland; if his thoughts and prayers go out to them, and if he "tears up" whenever he thinks about them — then why is he hiding them from us? Why are there no bands, no adoring crowds, no solemn ceremonies honoring our fallen men and women when they are sneaked back home to Dover Air Force Base, Del., under cover of darkness?
If we can come to grips with whose fault it is that Bush is getting away with such hypocrisy, we’re halfway home. Look in the mirror. Think about it.
According to VandeHi, numerous lawmakers — some of them even Republican — are accusing Bush of "not offering honest assessments about the strength of the insurgency and the slow pace of training battle-ready Iraqi forces." They say he is being "less than forthcoming," and may have inadvertently "deceived" or "misled" some people when educating them in why war was unavoidable. Hey Jim — the word is "liar." Say it. Bush lied and is still lying. Say it. Americans died and are still dying. Liar! Bush is a liar! Say it! No? Well, just pretend that Bush is Bill Clinton or Al Gore, and then you can bray it. Day after day after mind-deadening day.
If Bush succeeds in educating the public on how to succeed in genocide without even trying, then we must concede that he is either stark raving mad or is the most destructive pathological liar in the world today.
I take that back. Bush isn’t even in the same league with his vice president, Dick Cheney, when it comes to defiant, "go fuck yourself," bald-faced lying. Rather than soaring, incomprehensible warnings or upbeat killing-for-God promises, Cheney issues chilling, deadly threats that cause many of us to hold our heads in our hands, rock back and forth, and sob uncontrollably. Cheney’s fangs are embedded in the throats of this nation and its subservient media, and his perverse thirst appears to be insatiable.
For Cheney, the jury is still out on Saddam’s WMD — we just haven’t found them yet, but they’re there. When Cheney says that terrorists continue to plot against America, that they’re coming after us, vaulting our fences, crawling through our windows, and that "this president" will never rest until he has utterly destroyed them, it does not occur to us to ask for proof. In November 2004, when Cheney threatened further attacks that would make 9-11 pale in comparison if we voted for John Kerry, we cringed in abject terrified belief.
Cheney says the danger will never go away, further threats are gathering to "inflict catastrophic harm on us," and any illusion we might have of security is "irresponsible in the extreme." When Bush stammered recently on Fox News that he might be entertaining the idea of closing the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, which Amnesty International called the "gulag of our times," both Cheney and defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld jumped up and slapped him upside the head. Yo, Bubba! Rumsfeld all but barked, You ask ME first before you go running off at the mouth! Rumsfeld then declared that the camp held nothing but "determined killers," evil non-human excrement who continued their plotting against us even as they were chained to cold, cement floors, naked and tearing their hair out in agony.
Cheney backed up Rumsfeld’s comment, snarling that people hate Gitmo just because they "hate U.S. policies." He added ominiously that the torture camp "is an essential part of our strategy. My own personal view," he said, "is that those who are most urgently advocating that we shut down Guantanamo probably don’t agree with our policies anyway." Cheney then handed Halliburton a $30 million contract to build a new prison and a wall at Guantanamo by July 2006, part of a larger $500 million contract to extend through 2010, and slithered out of the room.
Are Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, et al, liars? Of course. But like VandeHei said, our education in how to succeed in genocide without even trying will continue next week, because maintaining control through paralyzing scare tactics is their only — their one and only — option on the table. They are completely without shame; completely without answers, and they don’t care. And, if we don’t like it, we have two choices. We can start humping our own legs or bend over and let them do it.
Because, one way or another, if we continue to allow Bush to educate us, we’re gonna get fucked. Completely.