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An Inventory of Lies

 

Bush

The Taliban no longer exist.

In fact, unless Bush is completely living in a bubble protected from bad news, he has to know that his own intelligence is reporting that the Taliban have regrouped, control large swaths of Afghanistan, and are on the move.

The U.S. has trained 100,000 Iraqi police.

The number of trained police personnel is closer to 50,000, and even they are so poorly trained and equipped that it is doubtful that they could be counted on to do anything of significance to prop up the puppet regime of Ayad Allawi if the U.S. were to leave.

We’re winning in Iraq.

See the Taliban statement above. Bush’s own generals, secretary of state and intelligence services all say the opposite, that the war is lost or in the process of being lost, with little hope of things being turned around.

We’re installing a missile defense system.

Only if you call setting up a few rocket launchers and missile interceptors that have never worked even under test conditions with rigged targets carrying homing devices on them. What he has installed is a boondoggle.

The U.S. has allies.

One of our allies, Costa Rica, had to sue to have its name taken off this honorable list. Others, like Spain, have pulled out their troops, while Britain, which only has 7000 soldiers in Iraq, is already making plans to pull a third of them home. Most of the other “allies” are only there because they were paid to be there or threatened if they didn’t sent a few token troops.

We will win the war on terror.

Right. Maybe the president should talk with folks in Israel, Spain or Russia about “winning” such a war. Al Qaeda is bigger and wider-spread than ever, and still plotting, and new groups are springing up all the time.

Every life is precious.

Except for Afghan, Iraqi and Sudanese lives, not to mention the lives of Americans in uniform under my command. And all those 4000 people on death row, plus the ones you’ve had executed when you were governor of Texas.

Kerry

I have always been consistent.

Except that he voted for the war authorization which everyone knew at the time was being treated by Bush as a signal to go ahead with his plan to attack Iraq, and except for the fact that during the primaries Kerry defended the war on Iraq and his support for it in the Senate, trashing those like Howard Dean who opposed it, except that he voted for Antonin Scalia for Supreme Court Justice though he claims to be a supporter of women’s rights, except that he voted for the Patriot Act while claiming to be a defender of freedom, except for the fact that he endorses the death penalty for terrorism after saying that he was against the death penalty because it can’t be fairly administered. Except

I will win the war against terror.

See Bush on the same topic above.

I will do what it takes to win the war in Iraq.

Here I think the lie is that Kerry has no intention of spending the next four years fighting a war in Iraq. I think he is saying the war was a colossal mistake in judgment and a diversion because after taking office he would find a justification for pulling the troops out as soon as possible. Why? Because the last thing he’d want, four years hence as he ran for a second term, would be to still have a war-by then his war-going on in Iraq. He’ll want to get out, blame the mess on Bush, and get on with other things so the national short attention span will rescue him from this mess. Pure conjecture here on my part, I confess, and maybe wishful thinking, but I do believe it, particularly given Kerry’s personal experience with the quagmire in Vietnam, and how it destroyed Lyndon Johnson’s chance for another term in office as well as ruining Nixon’s presidency.

DAVE LINDORFF is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His new book of CounterPunch columns titled “This Can’t be Happening!” is published by Common Courage Press. Information about both books and other work by Lindorff can be found at www.thiscantbehappening.net.

He can be reached at: dlindorff@yahoo.com

 

 

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Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

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