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January 8th, 2004
01:30 am
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And another dose of "... ... ... ..."
Okay. Remember my speechless outrage over George W. Bush's poetry?

Apparently I have been taken in.

Apparently not only I, but dozens of news agencies were taken in. Laura Bush is now saying it wasn't his after all. ("Well, of course, he didn't really write the poem. But a lot of people really believed that he did.")

In my previous post, I took umbrage at this assault on literacy and demanded an apology from Bush voters. As such, I owe any of said people who may be reading my journal an apology of my own. I made a demand based on what in hindsight appears to have been completely mistaken.

Mmmm, tasty crow.

However, I won't retract my apology request. There's plenty of reasons our current leader deserves one. They're just not so speedily explainable any more.

... All that aside, what really gets me about the whole thing is the calculated deception of it.

Of course, it wasn't a lie. Mrs. Bush very carefully never said it was George's in the first place:
President Bush is a great leader and husband —- but I bet you didn't know, he is also quite the poet. Upon returning home last night from my long trip, I found a lovely poem waiting for me.


There are probably several useful lessons to be learned from this, but I can't get one particular thought unstuck from my mind: What a perfect analogue to the run-up to the War in Iraq.

Anyone remember the 16 Words? "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa"? The "we don't want the smoking gun to come in the form of a mushroom cloud"? The yellowcake? All of it? Any of it? None of it has been shown yet to be as obviously and blatantly a lie as "the moon is green" -- but it sure left a lot of people believing he was sitting on a stockpile of thousands of tons of liquid death.

A lot of partisans have claimed "But Bush didn't lie." (Then they change the subject. Anyway --) Depending on how you parse "lie", this may or may not be technically true. But our metric is not and should not be technical truth. Our metric -- especially when our leaders are concerned -- should be trust. If a presidential statement implies Saddam is sitting atop three fully assembled nuclear warheads, we should be able to take him at his word and be confident we're not getting played. Likewise -- but far less substantially -- if Laura Bush says "George Bush is quite the poet," and proceeds to read a sappy and excruciating love poem in which the author calls her xir "lump in the bed" (a phrase Bush himself has in fact used for her, at least as far as news reports can be believed any more) ... we should be able to trust that implication.

Of course, this just honestly doesn't matter. Nobody died because of the poem. (Except a few million of my brain cells, but I'll be generous and exclude those.) Taking a principled stand on this is just silly. So I'm not going to try. (Aw, heck, let's stop for a moment of admiration: You go, Laura Bush. Way to swindle the nation!)

But it certainly treads too close for comfort to an administration that has been the most insular, the most nakedly partisan, and the most smugly hair-splitting I've seen in my existence here -- yes, beating even Bill Clinton, who doesn't score any honesty points with me either.

And right now I'm just left with a raw, dead feeling, a sense of being used, and not even being used for any comprehensible reason other than the pleasure of the control; a feeling which stares into a corner and mumbles to itself over and over again:

WTF? Does the Oval Office emit mind-control rays that turn people into pathological liars?

Current Mood: >_<;
Current Music: Old Soul, "River Pieces"
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From:sebboi
Date:January 8th, 2004 03:08 am (UTC)

A few other points of contention...

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Well, for me atr least.

* When American pilots were taken as Prisoners of War in April, 2003, the Bush Administration cried foul as Saddam aired TV interviews with the pilots and soldiers. They called articles of the Geneva Convention which expressly prohibits displaying POWs in any demeaning way.

When Saddam was captured in December, 2003, they spared no expense to make sure the unkempt and unshaven despot was televised to the world within hours.

Let's not even get started on the absolutely unnecessary, and inflamitory method that the bodies of Saddam Hussenis sons were broadcast.

** The United States Military can find one man hidden under a barn in Tukrit, the middle of rural Iraq, and can not seem to locate any source of chemical, biological or nuclear weaponry in the enire nation. And the Bush Administration has stopped making any refference to said WoMD since it got smacked for including (again) inflamitory and false accusations in the single most important Presidential address of the year.

*** Two words... 'Freedom Fries'. Not really his fault, but I blame him for making America show the rest of the world how much we appreciate the 200+ years of support and good relations we have had with France. And then there is that whole icon of American freedom, Lady Liberty herself. A gift from France.

I think (and correct me if I am wrong here) that next to Sweden, they are the only European Nation we have NOT gone to war with since the Colonial Days ended...

**** George W. Bush has some funny ideas about what the word 'preservation' means. He seems to believe that in order to keep something pristene, you must destroy it. Take his policy on the forests for example.

And as for the poem... I knew he didn't write it. It was not written in crayon.

Vote in '04. Or I will hunt you down. >:[
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From:lysana
Date:January 8th, 2004 10:00 am (UTC)

Re: A few other points of contention...

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I think (and correct me if I am wrong here) that next to Sweden, they are the only European Nation we have NOT gone to war with since the Colonial Days ended...

Unless my memory fails me, we also haven't gone to war with these European nations (I am including those nations who are currently independent but were under the rule of another nation by duress when we fought same):

Belgium, Luxembourg, Ireland, Portugal, the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Switzerland, Poland. I may be omitting a few myself, especially since my brain refuses to calculate which nations were under whom during WW I and II that exist now and in what form. I'd love to add Scotland and Wales, but neither are fully devolved from Great Britain yet.
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From:xb95
Date:January 8th, 2004 07:31 am (UTC)
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I'm a Bush supporter, but when I heard about the poem, I just rolled my eyes in a 'WTF?' gesture.

As for the WMDs in Iraq, I think it was a 'good idea gone overboard.' I don't think Saddam was fit to run a country. (Bush is better, but only by virtue of the fact that he can be ousted relatively easily, given how American law works, so he keeps his dictatorial tendences under control.) However, I'm not going to say that invasion + our continued occupation was the BEST way...

Every president (maybe with a few exceptions) has had a personal agenda. You don't get to be president by anything other than party support, nowadays. You're supported because your party says you are, and so you owe them, etc etc. It's a nasty thing, really. I try to avoid politics.
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From:xb95
Date:January 8th, 2004 11:25 am (UTC)
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As an entrepreneur hoping to find his place in this country, I'm very pro-business, as is the Republican party (in general). I also think we should have a strong military, for defense. I support getting rid of Saddam, but again, I don't think that what we did was the right way. And our continued occupation? Ugh.

I am pro-choice. I am pro-gay-marriage. I disagree with strong conservatives on these issues. But... my business/military standpoints have put me on the 'conservative leanings' side.

It's not that I like Bush. It's that I liked him more than Gore. That's about all.
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