Thursday, July 22, 2004

Down the Memory Hole

Molly Ivins lets it rip:
For the first two days I was on this media marathon, the story du jour was the Senate Intelligence Committee report that concluded the CIA was just flat wrong on its pre-war calls on Iraq. Wrong abut the weapons of mass destruction, wrong about connections to Al Qaeda, wrong about Saddam Hussein having a nuclear program and so on. All of which we already knew the government had been wrong about, but this was the Official Report.

So here's the Republican reaction: "See, the CIA was wrong, so you people owe President Bush an apology." I'm sitting there, brilliantly riposting, "Huh?" Here's the chain of logic. The CIA was wrong, therefore those on the left who say President Bush lied to us are wrong because he wasn't lying, he just believed the CIA. And you people are being rude and hateful and ugly and just mean about President Bush, and we want an apology.

What I'm worried about here is the amnesia factor. Am I the only person around who distinctly remembers an entire 18 months ago? This is what happened: The CIA was wrong, but it wasn't wrong enough for the White House, which kept pushing the spies to be much wronger. The CIA's lack of sufficient wrongness was so troubling to the anxious Iraq hawks that they kept touting their own reliable sources, such as Ahmad Chalabi and his merry crew of fabulists. The neo-cons even set up their very own little intelligence shop in the Pentagon to push us into this folly in Iraq.

Which brings us to the second talking point last week. Iraq never happened. I swear to you, this war and its disastrous aftermath never happened is the new official line. Down the memory hole. Never happened. You dreamed the whole thing. Iraq is now like Ken Lay and Chalabi. They never heard of it. Only met it once. Besides, Iraq contributed to their opponents.

According to The New York Times, "several Republicans," presumably speaking for the Bush campaign, noted that American casualties in Iraq are down from last month. Actually, that is quite untrue. Forty-two Americans were killed in Iraq in June, presumed to be an unusually bloody month because it was leading up to the big handover of sovereignty. As of July 21, 43 more Americans have been killed in Iraq, with 10 days still to go in the month.

Total number of Americans killed so far is 901, but the new line is: What War? We turned it over to the Iraqis, see? Presto, it disappears, just like magic. It's their problem now. Doesn't have anything to do with us. Bush is out campaigning by calling himself "the peace president." Honest. "He repeated the words 'peace' or 'peaceful' many times, as he had done increasingly in his recent appearances," reported The New York Times from Iowa this week.

Make that 20 times.

Of course, the GOP has its talking point: the Iraqi quagmire, the spiriling economy, new terrorists threats, are Bill Clinton's fault. [you're getting sleepy] Everything bad is Bill Clinton's fault. [very sleepy]

Blonde nod to The Hamster.


At 3:21 PM, Blogger Drunken Proletariat said...

A good article. I heard Molly Ivins give a speech on the radio a couple of weeks back. I always know that I'll find something worth reading on your site. So here is a drunken nod


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