Saturday, October 11, 2003

why should anyone even listen to these people?

yesterday vice president cheney lashed out at the administration's critics over the war in iraq during remarks to the heritage foundation. the speech was part of the administration's latest attempt to sell the war and its aftermath to the american people. the fact that cheney went to the religious right think tank heritage foundation for its p.r. campaign illustrates who exactly they think "the american people" are. or at least, who are worth addressing.

among the gems in the speech, cheney warned:

Had we followed the counsel of inaction, the Iraqi regime would still be a menace to its neighbors and a destabilizing force in the Middle East. Today, because we acted, Iraq stands to be a force for good in the Middle East.

of course, since the u.s. invaded iraq has been nothing but a beacon of stability in the mid-east. once again the administration gave an up-is-down assessment of iraq to bolster its claims that everything is peachy there. or at least that's the impression it was intended to convey. if you read the passage carefully, cheney hedged a little. notice the change in tense in the second sentence. it starts with "today" but then goes on with "stands to be a force of good in the Middle East." "stands to be" indicates some indefinite future, a tacit admission that its not a force of good now.

another quote from cheney:

[Saddam Hussein} had an established relationship with Al Qaeda, providing training to Al Qaeda members in the areas of poisons, gases, making conventional bombs.

no mention of al qaeda's historic opposition to the hussein's baathist regime, or hussein intolerance for political islamic groups like al qaeda in iraq. no mention that not a single al qaeda leader is iraqi. no mention that there has never been any public evidence of any relationship with al qaeda nor any evidence that iraq ever provided training to al qaeda.

cheney took no questions, even from this largely sympathetic audience. when the administration's credibility over iraq is at stake, make a lot of unsupported and probably false statements, and then refuse to take any questions, why should exactly we listen to these people?