Monday, March 12, 2007
Cheney Out the Side of His Mouth
The (un)popular visual characterization of Vice President Dick Cheney is that of a man who talks out the side of his mouth (see photo left).
It must be so Cheney can hear himself speak, because he has nothing new to say to the rest of us.
Cheney gave a BIG SPEECH this morning rehashing arguments about Iraq long proven wrong by reality on the ground and rife with Ann Coulter-ish insinuations about those whose opinions differ from his - which is just about everybody.
Of course, Cheney’s out there on the “bully” pulpit (his natural habitat) in response to week-long speculation about whether he should resign, given the conviction of his former chief of staff for carrying out his boss’s orders and then lying to hide the fact.
Of course he should and, of course, he won’t, because the hallmark of the Bush administration is a noxious combination of shamelessness and disdain for the people whom it was hired (sort of) to govern.
The administration’s rhetoric reduces elections to “polls,” which of course it does not heed, unless it can brandish them for purposes usually tied to violence and the concomitant profiteering of their friends in the oil services and construction industries.
Cheney’s BIG SPEECH accused “anti-war” Democrats of undermining the troops with their legislation tying safety, results, and timetables for withdrawal to the next $100 billion the administration wants for its colossal blunder.
Cheney throws “anti-war” around the way he does “terrorist” and it’s clear he doesn’t distinguish between the two any more than he distinguished the attacks of 9/11 from the literary exploits of Saddam Hussein.
“When members of Congress pursue an anti-war strategy, that’s been called ‘slow bleeding’,” he told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, “they are not supporting the troops, they are undermining them.”
And he ought to know, because he was the co-architect of a strategy that tried to win a war with too few troops riding around in cardboard Humvees, and which sent the wounded soldiers he supports to be (mis)treated in bureaucratic dumps, by bureaucratic lumps.
“When [Congress] members speak not of victory but of time limits, deadlines and other arbitrary measures, they are telling the enemy simply to watch the clock and wait us out,” he thundered.
As Winston Churchill once said after Calvin Coolidge would not forgive American loans to Great Britain for costs associated with World War I because, “they hired the money didn’t they?”:
“That is a correct, but not exhaustive analysis.”
What the scribe means to say is that it was Cheney and men of his ilk who lied about why we needed to declare preemptive war, who confused their illusions with the reality of a land racked by religious hatreds, and whom substituted the power of the gun for that of the mind and sensitive soul.
They set the poor foundation for a democracy that can never, and will never, be built, and we need not sacrifice anymore of our country’s wealth in money, men, and women, to their bad idea.
It’s been four years now, but go to highwayscribery ally Kiko’s House where Shaun Mullen, a one-time supporter of the war, has composed a colorful and brief word collage that sums things up beautifully.
Or read Anthony Shadid’s appreciation in the “Washington Post” of a gentle Iraqi bookseller who died over the weekend. We know only too well the price in lives of our countrymen, but the damage to those we liberated is an underwritten story.
Cheney might have made one of the administration’s “surprise” visits to Iraq (the only kind permitted by the security situation) and had a chat with poor Mohammad Hayawi. He might have purchased a tome or two of local literature and history from his now incinerated store.
But Cheney doesn’t read books. Like Oscar Wilde’s character Lord Henry Wotton, in “The Portrait of Dorian Gray,” he instead, “talks them away;” to himself and anybody directly to the right side of his twisted mouth.