Jim Austin's Vermonter at Large
Jim Austin
Jim Austin
is a freelance writer from Putney, Vermont.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 07.15.03


Mendacity Blues

Here's a switch. The White House is now admitting that the President lied in his State of the Union address last January.

Well, they didn't say "lie" exactly.

What they said was that the information containing records of Saddam Hussein receiving fissionable material from Niger in Africa was a "forgery."

What makes it a big fat lie is that the CIA told them that it wasn't true and recommended that the statement be deleted from the speech. Now, backed into a corner with nowhere to go, the Administration is grudgingly admitting to being misled.

According to Reuters, a simple Internet search proved that statements concerning the Niger-uranium-Iraq connection were as ludicrously false as a 3-card monte game.

What is not so laughable are the 212 combat deaths and more than 1000 injuries incurred by our troops.

How painful for their families, who must shrivel further at the thought that their children went into battle in support of a lie perpetrated by the Commander-in-Chief.

We shouldn't be too quick to condemn the President himself. He is in a rather unusual position. It is generally the President who has a cadre of yes-men to carry out his directives. In Bush's case, he is clearly the stooge mouthpiece of men like Vice President Cheney and Assistant Secretary of Defense Wolfowitz.

I wonder why our President is in Africa at the moment? If this Administration wasn't a shadowy cult of lying weasels I might think it was to strengthen alliances and assist in addressing the AIDS epidemic. Sadly I believe he is there for entirely self-serving reasons.

First, he is hiding from the US press corps, which might press him on his reasons for lying to the country about Iraq's nuclear threat or ask him if he stands by his "Bring them on" statement, taunting the enemy from the security of the White House.

He may be there to see if a visit to the Old Country can garner him some votes from the African-American community.

Bad news George, they aren't that stupid. He will certainly have trouble when he comes home, having promised money to African nations to fight AIDS. The Evangelical Christians who keep him on a pretty tight choke chain have declared that AIDS is God's punishment on the homosexual community. They won't be too happy to see tax money spent on AIDS research that could be spent on rattlesnakes and strychnine for their religious services.

If I were Botswana's Chancellor of the Exchequer I would wait until the check clears before I buy the Hallmark "Thank You" card.

So, how is our occupation of Iraq going since George announced the "end of hostilities?"

Still pretty friggin' hostile, if you ask me. Seventy-seven of the 212 combat deaths have occurred since President Dimbulb made that comment. Retired General Tommy Franks says that we may need troops to remain in Iraq over the next four years.

It seems as if every day more soldiers are killed or injured via rocket-propelled grenades, snipers, or just street murderers with handguns. What happened to the throngs of joyous Iraqis capering and frolicking around our tanks singing "Ding Dong, Saddam is Dead"?

Well, first of all. Saddam ain't dead and we can post rewards up to and including the GNP of a small country but Saddam has more stolen lucre than we could ever come up with to keep himself safe.

Secondly, when the Administration was busy ignoring their exit strategy I wonder why they didn't at least consider that we were responsible for ten years of onerous sanctions that affected not the military or Hussein, but the people of Iraq. Every citizen probably knows someone who lost a child or relative as a direct result of US-driven sanctions. If the military arm of the country responsible for the death of your child showed up in the street, what would you do?

These killers aren't remnants of Saddam's Bath Party. Everyone knows they are finished forever. Nobody risks their life to defend a defunct political party. These are people who are taking their opportunity to pay us back for killing thousands by withholding vital supplies.

Look for the Administration to defend their lies, excoriate the traitors who disagree with them, and justify their occupation of Iraq. When the election is over they'll try and make political hay out of a hasty withdrawal, leaving us all wondering what the killing was all about.