February 21, 2007

Speaking of Lies, I Like the Funny Ones

Some lies are laughable, others contemptible. Over the past six years, the Bush gang has given us a plethora of both types, this month being no exception.

First, the laughable. After British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced his plans to withdraw around 1,600 troops from Iraq, numerous Bushies rushed to the media and explained why this announcement was actually—get this—good news.[1]

Saith Condi Rice: “The British have done what is really the plan for the country as a whole, which is to be able to transfer security responsibilities to the Iraqis as conditions permit.” Reinforcing Condi’s spin, National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley called Blair’s announcement “basically a good news story, an indication that progress is being made, and that events on the ground permit this kind of adjustment in forces.”[2]

Let’s return to the real world for a moment, shall we? The war in Iraq is not going well—even the President finally admitted this and has therefore called for a massive surge in troop levels. So amid all this, our major ally comes along and announces that it’s going to cut its troop levels by over 20%. And this is good news for America?

Okay, that’s a laughable lie. Laughable because it’s ridiculous and no one really believes it.

Now for the contemptible lie.

On February 14, Bush “told a White House news conference that it is clear that a faction of the [Iranian] government—the Quds Force—was responsible for shipping explosive devices to Iraqi insurgents. What is unclear, he said, was whether the Quds Force was acting independently or under the aegis of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.”[3]

As usual, Bush didn’t back up this accusation with any sort of evidence. And why? More than likely because he doesn’t have any.

According to Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, we have no evidence that Iran’s government is in anyway involved in sending weapons to Iraq. “It is clear,” Pace says, “that Iranians are involved [in manufacturing lethal weapons used by Shiite insurgent groups], and it’s clear that materials from Iran are involved, but I would not say by what I know that the Iranian government clearly knows or is complicit.”[4]

What’s perhaps as contemptible as the lie itself has been the failure of the American media to call Bush on it. Even the supposedly liberal NPR is guilty in this regard. As Paul Craig Roberts writes, “On February 13 [the day after Pace’s comments], I listened for two hours to NPR and did not hear a single report of General Pace’s contradiction of Bush/Cheney propaganda about Iran’s leaders. But I did hear a neoconservative from the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a propaganda institution in Washington D.C., push the buttons for war with Iran.”[5]

If a student wrote a paper containing unsupported claims, claims that were refuted by the most credible experts, he or she would undoubtedly be marked down, probably not even given a passing grade. But when the President of the United States does the very same thing, no one, not even those who purportedly make up the anti-Bush, left-winged media, bat an eye.

Please someone, wake me up, tell me that this is all just a really bad dream.

[1] CNN.com, “Blair: 1,600 troops to leave Iraq,” 02/21/07,

[2] Yahoo! News, “Cheney slams Iraq plan advocated by Dems,” 02/21/07.

[3] UPI, “Bush sure of facts on Iran weapons in Iraq,” 02/14/07, http://www.politicalgateway.com/news/read/63584.

[4] “Pace Demurs on Accusation of Iran: General Says He Knows Nothing Tying Leaders to Arms in Iraq,” by Karen DeYoung, Washington Post, 02/13/07, pg A18.

[5] Roberts, “Military Breaks Ranks With Bush—But NPR Falls in Line,” 02/14/07.

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