Saturday, January 27, 2007


By Ivan G. Goldman

Those mad, conflicting statements may be a calculated game designed to get us behind "good" cop Bush so we can escape "bad" cop Cheney. On the other hand, maybe they're no con. Each may be running around in his own little circle of unreality, no longer coordinating actions or statements with his partner because one or both has snapped his leash. Maybe their statements are aimed not at us, but at each other -- frantic signals of despair and menace as they scramble for an exit that’s just not there for either of them.

As the messes they make get deeper and fouler and ever more dangerous, it's more likely that their statements jump around in an uncoordinated babble because that’s how they really think, and it's increasingly difficult for them to mask or contain their pained, bewildered loathing for everyone who dares observe their agony.

For years now Cheney has emerged from his spider hole mainly to sputter and glower like a babbling wretch on a subway platform, the kind everyone gives plenty of space. But lately his ravings, though still sounding like elaborations on a theme just pronounced by Bush, are more like personal rebukes, as though he's publicly admonishing his slow-witted pupil.

Bush, though standing firm behind his “surge” in his State of the Union address, conceded mistakes were made, subtracting just a smidge of the usual arrogance. He preferred to speak about his fantasy image as a bestower of health plans and booster of conservation, a decider who's running on all eight cylinders.

But less than 48 hours later, Cheney, interviewed by CNN’s accommodating Wolf Blitzer, seemed to be lecturing Bush as much as everyone else when he explained Iraq thusly: “Bottom line is that we’ve had enormous successes, and we will continue to have enormous successes. The biggest threat,” he said, is that Americans may not “have the stomach for the fight.” It's uncomfortable to consider these words, because they are so clearly the words of a madman and echo the pronouncements of the feuhrer when he raged in his bunker that the German people were undeserving of his perfection.


But in Iraq, hundreds of thousands are dead. We don't know how many more are maimed, crippled, homeless, helpless, hungry, afraid to leave, afraid to stay. And the gelded Blitzer, incapable of dealing with what he just heard, dares not or knows not how to steer the discourse somewhere sane. If we're there to create a democratic beacon, just when did this goal take shape? Because they sure as hell didn't mention it when they were screeching about phantom weapons of mass destruction and pursuing their very deliberate, Goebbels-like campaign to portray Saddam as Bin Laden. But Blitzer finds it safter to pretend Cheney's words are rational, that the world is right on course. You're doing a heck of a job, Wolfie.

It’s easy to envision Shotgun Cheney, the man of a thousand deferments, wandering in his private, visionless hell, one fist wrapped around his shotgun, another around a Jack Daniels, losing himself in a groundless interpretation that absolves him of everything because he was held back by the dead weight of simple George, the weak sister, the meandering mistress. How will George answer this duplicitous arrogance? That chapter hasn't been written yet.

But George has answered back, messaging his master through an interview with NPR's Juan Williams that Cheney has a "glass is half-full" mentality, meaning all is forgiven. Sure, Blunder-amus, the whole world knows the glowering Cheney is a veritable whirlwind of optimistic delight. And in the meantime, to keep Shotgun Dick cheerful, Prince George threatened again to rain a shitstorm on Iran. Maybe he doesn't read the papers, but the Iranians do. Already on his ass with two wars, whom does he think he's scaring when he threatens a third? Me, that's who. Cornered critters do ugly, crazy things.

A vast majority of us understand there is no point to this war in Iraq. It helps only our enemies, attracting recruits, sympathy, and funds to totalitarian Islamists. As the consequences of the pointless invasion and occupation grow worse by the hour, fewer and fewer Americans can find a reason to continue this campaign whose only purpose is to bestow a sick meaning to the empty lives of the vicious liars and fools who demanded it – and who rave at each other while our people die for them.

No comments: