Tuesday, March 28, 2006

rage against rage

The other night, watching some late news program, I saw the exchange between veteran journo Helen Thomas and George Bush which caused a bit of a stir about the place. I was rather taken by surprise by my own rage, whipped up by Bush’s angry response, whether artificial or not. Certainly my rage drowned out Bush’s patriotic righteousness. I bellowed about the Iraqi dead and the demonisation of a nation, I raved apoplectically about the regime’s insulting and insufferable lies, about the imprisonment and torture of those who stand up against foreign occupation of their country, the bullying and trashing of the United Nations and any other representative organization of weight that takes an opposing view, of the cynical manipulation of a supine yank media and a horrifically uninformed public….

And then upon recovery I tune into the mainstream yank press and read this awful piece of rubbish which I suspect is typical. The idea is that confronting Bush about his duplicity is not going to win votes, so the opposition should be more moderate. Calling a liar a liar is a form of extremism in American politics it seems, particularly if the liar is a Republican. The commentator is right of course, the American public is a dead loss, by and large. But those who are neither Democrats nor Americans have nothing to lose by telling the truth.

Of course not all American commentators are fooled. Joshua Micah Marshall, of Talking Points Memo, has this take on the altercation, beginning with these Bush claims:

"I also saw a threat in Iraq. I was hoping to solve this problem diplomatically. That's why I went to the Security Council; that's why it was important to pass 1441, which was unanimously passed. And the world said, disarm, disclose, or face serious consequences ... and therefore, we worked with the world, we worked to make sure that Saddam Hussein heard the message of the world. And when he chose to deny inspectors, when he chose not to disclose, then I had the difficult decision to make to remove him. And we did, and the world is safer for it."

Of course, that's not what happened. We were there. We remember. It wasn't a century ago. We got the resolution passed. Saddam called our bluff and allowed the inspectors in. President Bush pressed ahead with the invasion.

His lies are so blatant that I must constantly check myself so as not to assume that he is simply delusional or has blocked out whole chains of events from the past.

When will this insanity gripping the mainstream American media and the American public come to an end?


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