Tuesday, September 21, 2004

WMD -- Weapons of Mass Deception

It's unfortunate that CBS apparently chose to use suspect documents in its story on Bush's National Guard (dis)service. I think this has turned out to be a case similar to the OJ Simpson story (no, I am NOT comparing OJ to Bush -- just the juxtaposition of it all) -- guilty as charged but framed nevertheless.

Let me explain. There's plenty of evidence that Bush didn't serve out his term with the National Guard (actually, there isn't much evidence, and that's why it's easy to prove he never showed up in the last year of his agreement). Nobody needed to make up anything. Dan Rather, I believe, is correct in his assessment of the situation -- the gist of the story stands under any and all scrutiny.

CBS showed very poor judgement in its piece on Bush. But they should stand by the story because, as they say, "Truth is stranger than fiction." The truth is that Bush was honorably discharged (so was the dude who sniped all those people in the DC area, John Mohammed), there aren't many paper artifacts that demonstrate that he reported for duty (I thought being in the military was a full-time job -- apparently, Bush's "work ethic" began at least in the TANG, where he showed up whenever it was convenient, like he has during this presidency), and he failed to show for a required physical.

If he weren't the son of a government official, he may have been dishonorably discharged. But, as the Republicans say, "that's old news." So let's talk about now.

The chain of events that has led us to now are as follows (I am sure you remember):

Bush steals presidency by 5-4 margin in US Supreme Court and acts like he won a mandate. Several campaign promises actually come to pass, like a tax cut and the passing of the "No Child Left Behind" legislation. Bush took lots of time off at his ranch in Texas, ignored daily briefings from the CIA, one especially memorable one called, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US," and pretty much took it easy, looking like he was going to be an unmemorable one-term president.

Then September 11 came to pass, (let's forget his inaction during the attacks for a moment) and he "sprang" to action. "Dead or Alive" was the battlecry for capturing Osama bin Laden. The country rallied, the world was behind us, and we had the moral and popular authority to strike back at al Qaeda. Then we waited. Two months.

Okay, a sick man with kidney failure, living in caves, meandering the Afghanistan countryside, is probably not a fast mover. We had some time to catch him before he escaped. But even a legless man without a wheelchair could cross the border, catch a plane, and leave the region in two months. So, Bush blew it. He may have meant, "Dead or alive, or not" -- who knows? The man is mostly unintelligible, even when somebody writes it out for him.

Then we bombed the hell out of Afghanistan. We took out the taliban. We installed a new government. We couldn't find bin Laden. Once it was obvious he was gone, Bush openly turned to the American public and began his crusade against Iraq and Saddam. Now, forget for a moment that Bush I had a happy relationship with Iraq before the Gulf War. Forget that Haliburton, under Dick Cheney, made millions off re-building the Iraq and Kuwait oil fields.

Forget all that. WMDs became the word of the day. Imminent threat. Images of mushroom clouds filled our senses. We had to take out Saddam because he possessed chemical, biological, and perhaps nu-ku-ler weapons. We know it, because we most likely sold them to him.

So we went to the UN. We appealed to the international community and they backed us. Until we determined that our "last resort" didn't line up with the rest of the world's. Our last resort was a line drawn in the sand that said by this date you must do such and such -- or ELSE.

Or else meant we bombed the hell out of another country in the Middle East, this time unprovoked. Somebody PLEASE tell me how Iraq provoked us into a pissing contest with the ultimate consequences -- death of truly evil people, innocent bystanders, American and a small (albeit not insignificant) coalition of soldiers -- all for what? Because Saddam was "evil."

People, people, people -- Saddam was evil 20 years ago, yet we had diplomatic relations with him. We did bidness with him. We gave him stuff. We helped him when his country was in war with Iran. We gave him weapons, supplies, and support during that war. What the hell has happened to our collective memory?

I have a stinking suspicion that he embarrassed Cheney during the Gulf War (a just war -- big bully of a country with a huge military establishment takes on a small, yet very important OIL, country -- the world's largest coalition ever established) in some way and Cheney's suspect manhood was challenged. Old Tricky Dick was pissed and when he had the chance to recommend himself as Bush's VP, he jumped at the chance, offering up himself as the only suitable choice when in fact he was supposed to be picking somebody to run on the Bush ticket and had proclaimed that he wasn't interested in the job.

But I digress.

So now that the war in Iraq was stupendously successful, we had to plan for the peace. Wha? Peace? That doesn't win elections! We gotta keep this thing going until at least November 2004. So, that's what they did. Never thought about how to rebuild the country (except for giving no-bid contracts to Haliburton to rebuild the infrastructure). Don't even think about letting the Iraqi people participate. Wouldn't want their economy to outpace our own pathetic example of a sloth economy.

So here we sit, broken hearted, tried to...well you get the picture. We had the world on our side September 11, 2001 and we blew it. We failed to capture the guy guilty of masterminding the attacks. That's really the end of the story. Except for all the lies, deception, and false claims about all the stuff that ensued shortly thereafter.