Who can you trust these days? The whole GOP is getting caught in the credibility undertow for the war in Iraq, the lies that got us there, and other shovelfuls of crap that lined foreign policy bins, election campaigns, and stooge diplomacy. The Dems are getting dumped on too - Hillary is accused of being "liberal" (see "evil" and "church"), and Obama is accused of being "outside the loop," as in "beltloop" and no one is in the mood for being, shall we say, belt-free. Tom Jefferson or Jesus would seem to be fairly trustworthy, even by today’s rigorous standards (sic), but the trick is to find someone who is actually alive.
What we need is a bipartisan consensus, an examination of who people actually trust and believe, someone who commands trust from both sides of the fence.
Prez Bush himself told us who that someone could be last September 7, 2006, in an interview on ABC News with Charles Gibson, who asked Bush three times what was the connection between the Iraq War and the War on Terror, and in response, Bush was forced to rely on the sole indisputable source on this issue: who else? "Bush’s best answer was that Iraq is part of the ‘war on terror’ because Osama bin Laden says it is."
Bush stated in support of the invasion of Iraq that although he admits Saddam Hussein "didn’t order the attacks", his crowning argument is that "Osama bin Laden has called Iraq central to the war on terror."
Gibson goes further, asking, "But the point that I make and that many of the critics make is that Iraq wasn’t a part of the war on terror until we went in there. ..."
To which Bush replied, forthrightly, "I ... I ... listen, I understand it’s dangerous and troublesome, but I think it’s very important for the American people to ask, ‘Why, why is it that Osama bin Laden wants to drive us out of Iraq before this democracy can sustain itself?’"
So there you have it, UBL is the new "it" man, and has held that title for quite a spell. Other Republicans in W’s chorus of yes-men also chant this tune: "Iraq is critical to the war on terror... even Osama bin Laden says so!" Don’t take the President’s word on it, or the Secretary of Defense’s, heaven forbid, or the word of the Secretary of State, or the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, or the word of any high-ranking official. You don’t have to take the word of these known liars. The Most Trusted Name in Politics says so. Al-Qaeda says so. UBL says so, for God’s sake! Nuff said.
Of course, you can’t trust liberals. They probably don’t even believe in an Axis of Evil. But UBL believes1 He’s on-board with the program. He’s up with this evil-good thing. He’s just got it in reverse, but at least he’s got it. So you can trust him.
Now think about it a moment. With all that righteous Republican trust in his pocket, why doesn’t UBL cash in: "If Al-Qaeda says it is, you KNOW it is." Imagine the spike in sales of Coca-Cola, for example, if UBL would show up in a video with one.
"After three hours on donkey-back, one hour under gunfire, seven miles up winding mountain trails, carried in an insulated duffel bag by a courier known only to three people, two of whom blew themselves up, finally delivered to and carefully extricated by none other than UBL himself (taking a swig of Coke, then saying), ‘When I say it’s good - (shots fired in the air) - it’s DAMN GOOD!!!’"
He could have made enough on that one spot to finance the overthrow of two key unnamed Middle Eastern countries, or scare the hell out of two unspecified Western countries, or upset the balance of six key economic bases. It’s his choice, man, and hey, it might be a better investment for Coke than financing the War in Iraq. Most Middle East countries could use a good overthrow, and a good scare never hurt anyone, and economic bases are mostly fronts for rich egomaniacal moguls, anyway. And who drinks Coke? The people, that’s who. It’s a win-win.
Of course, this scenario never happened and never will happen. If it did, UBL would ultimately be just another money-groveling cog in the great wheel of Fortune, instead of a North Star for the Compass of Trust. No, UBL would never show up in a 30-second spot for Coke. He commands the world around him, and when he says he’s going to do something, he does it. He says "I’m going to attack America" and he attacks America. He stops saying "I’m going to attack America" and he stops attacking America.
He listened to his fellow Al-Qaedians when they told him this 9-11 style thing is backfiring and it’s got to stop, or that oops! You forgot to invite Americans to Islam first and bomb them afterwards. So no more 9-11’s and no more attacks until a full Invitation to Islam is issued.
Problem was, when he issued his Invitation to Islam, he issued it in Arabic with no explanation of what "Islam" is, relying on outsiders to translate. So he came up with an American who is now a fellow Al-Qaedian, to issue a Revised English Version of that Invitation, complete with an American-language synopsis of Islam, or Islam-in-an-Al-Qaedian-nutshell.
After all, UBL and the Bush Administration have the same agenda: interfere in every country you can get your hands on to convert them to your belief-system/culture. They just happen to have, well, different belief-systems. But both are international "activists," shall we say, with a penchant for war as a means of solving problems and pushing one’s agenda. Both seem immune to the notion that interference in other countries causes the people of those countries untold misery, and both seem to work in tandem: where goes Bush, so goes UBL; where goes UBL, so goes Bush. Bush went to Iraq, so UBL sent some fellow Al-Qaedians over thataway. Both are caught up in this bloody, immoral Morality Play that is as much in tune with reality as Donald Duck riding Silver to Armageddon.
Let’s see, wasn’t the moon in the seventh house, and Jupiter aligned with Mars, and it was the dawning of ... just a minute, it’s not the Age of Reason or the Age of Aquarius, so it must be - the Age of Holy War! Is the Bush Administration even cognizant of the fact that they started this latest Holy War? "Let’s spread democracy over all the world." What’s the deal?
Bush says he wants to spread democracy by the sword - or in more updated terms, by the bomb, or whatever weapons system seems right at the time. Now, now, tsk, tsk, the world sees it as an invasion. Well, if it looks, smells, tastes, bleeds and destroys like an invasion, it is an invasion. The world sees the purpose of that invasion as the obvious purpose of any invasion - to take over and control.
The idea of "We are coming here to benevolently free you from your long-held traditions, culture and religion to OUR way of life on OUR terms and you will answer to OUR dictates and give us YOUR oil..." - well, it’s a hard sell, this "freedom." If it doesn’t look, taste, act or smell like freedom, then what the hell is it? Since when does freedom mean no infrastructure, death of your children, neighbors, no commerce, no roads, not a single inch of security anywhere, no schools, no reason to live?
Gee! Wonder why they don’t love us? And where did we get our ideas on cultural foreplay? Slasher flicks?
Or could it be overkill?
Tell me, where would you rather live, in Iraq or New York City? Where would you rather live, in Afghanistan or next to Ground Zero in the nearest habitable habitation? Does next door to the Pentagon sound better than a flat in the Green Zone? Note, the Green Zone is the Park Avenue of Baghdad. Yes, 9-11 was a tragedy, and all the world recognized that. But it was not an invasion. It was not a takeover. UBL promised to attack, but not to take over. He never even promised to destabilize. He never even declared war. The attack is bad, very bad. Those whom he attacked in 9-11 were innocent victims. Most of them probably know nothing about any of the causes dear to UBL’s agenda, much less have anything to do with them. They were, at worst, cogs in the wheel of Fortune.
And as a North Star of Trust, he should have attacked the people he was really mad at, like the Saudi royal family. Or some of the other despots throwing their well-heeled "my whim is your fate, chump" weight around in the Islamic world. Maybe he could have liberated, instead of further destroying the lives of, some of those people on the Muslim street he is an ironic icon for. They are also victims of 9-11. And many still don’t get it.
Bush, likewise, remains an icon for many a poor soul from the Heartland and the South, people for whom patriotism means obedience, parades, and sending their children to die. They idolize the man who sent their children to die for the great rhetoric, for the military campaign, for "standing up for freedom", for waving the flag, for eating potluck casseroles and having Bar-B-Q’s on Memorial Day. When I asked my redneck neighbors why they are voting for Bush, they replied simply, "It’s the right thing to do." They feel the Bush agenda in their gut, like many in the Muslim world feel the UBL agenda in their gut. They feel someone is finally standing up for What’s Right. Problem is, it’s all Wrong.
Bush wanted, and the American people wanted, to avenge 9-11, to take revenge on someone, anyone, for this horrible attack. And they preferred to get as close to the source as possible. OK. So did UBL. He wants to avenge Muslim oppression by non-Muslims, as seen graphically in many venues, starting with Israel enacting their "final solution" on Palestinians by a slow denial of basic human rights, such as food and shelter and the right to remain un-bombed, and ending with Western support for despotic regimes in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and anywhere else they can do it. But he can’t really realistically attack Israel or the Saudi Regime, although he has tried the latter. So he chose their supporters, the Next Best Thing: the good ol’ U.S. of A.
Bush, too, should have attacked the people he is really mad at - UBL himself, supposedly, and those who created him. Oops! The Americans "created him," just like they empowered and "created" Saddam Hussein in the Iran-Iraq War. UBL was one day one of our "freedom fighters" in the Afghan war against the USSR, our old nemesis. He wanted to be a freedom fighter again in the Kuwait-Iraq situation that led to Gulf War I. We screwed him then, but presumably secret pleas of his Bush Family Friends family, the rich and powerful Bin Ladens, kept him off-target for revenge.
Be that as it may, we chose the Next Best Thing, those who support UBL. That meant Afghanistan. But Iraq? That obviously had nothing to do with 9-11 any more than Israeli-style fascism has to do with the Holocaust (it’s not a fitting memorial, to say the least).
And their lies are so transparent it speaks very poorly of the American people that they actually believe this stuff. I mean, really. "Bombs for Democracy!"
So we can go into debt until we join the Third World in poverty, lack of education and crime. Put your money into guns! Now there’s a strategy for the future.
But alas, it’s just a lie.
Iraq was an invasion for oil and strategic power, no chaser. And that’s what makes UBL ultimately more trustworthy than the Bush Administration. At least he tells you what he’s doing. The Bush Administration, however, tells you the diametrical opposite. (Thanks, Machiavelli.) They obviously have no use for trust. They’ll leave that to Al-Qaeda and UBL. Someone you can count on. A good reference in tough times. The most trusted name in politics.