The Mists of Falsehoods
by Charley Reese, USA*
I love this administration‘s ability to remain cloaked in a mist of
falsehoods. If you listen to them, everything is going swimmingly.
Retired Gen. Jay Garner and several of his staff are relieved of
their posts in Iraq but, of course, have done a splendid job. There is
still chaos, looting and a lack of clean water and power, but
reconstruction is proceeding with great progress. America is doing a
worse job than Saddam Hussein in feeding the Iraqi people, but everyone
is so happy to see the tyrant gone — though where he has gone, we don’t
know. Perhaps he’s with Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar. Not to worry,
paradise is on the way.
As for al-Qaida, it has been decimated, crippled, rendered
ineffective — except, of course, for those members who simultaneously
blew up three foreign compounds and a business in Saudi Arabia.
Everything in Afghanistan is peachy-creamy — except, of course, that
it looks remarkably as unstable and undeveloped as it did a year ago.
The president has also committed himself to his ‘road map to peace,’ but
never mind that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon refuses to accept
it and again embarrasses Secretary of State Colin Powell by clamping
down on Palestinians before the secretary has even shaken off the dust
of Palestine from his shoes.
And, of course, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the American
economy, except the absence of another round of tax cuts. The ability of
this administration to live in a dream world, divorced from reality, is
quite remarkable. Why, the falling value of the dollar is good for
American exports. And the answer to the biggest string of record trade
deficits in history is to have more free-trade agreements, never mind
that they are the cause of the trade deficits in the first place.
Sometimes I think our whole country is on dope. How nice that Poland
will administer a third of Iraq provided, naturally, that we foot the
bill for the entire operation. But one has to appreciate faithful
allies even if they are dead-broke and we have to pay through the nose
for their support. I’m sure the Poles, with their vast experience in
the Middle East, will be crackerjack administrators.
A purely advisory role for the United Nations devoid of one ounce of
authority is naturally ‘a vital role.’ And while we were impatient with
U.N. weapons inspectors, now that we are hunting these so-far-mythical
tons of weapons of mass destruction, people must be patient and
understand it might even take years. But even if we don’t find them,
never mind that everything we said to sell the war was a lie. After
all, we got rid of a tyrant, even though we have temporarily misplaced
We shall, of course, leave no child behind — never mind the federal
cuts in education because of a ballooning federal deficit and the
further cuts in state education because of the state deficits. We have
only to say something and it is so. We say we are going to improve
public education, and bingo, it is improved. After all, a nation of
functional illiterates won’t know the difference.
And just look how we have expanded the great North Atlantic Treaty
Organization, right up to the borders of Russia. Of course, the new
members are too broke to buy arms, so we will have to foot the bill, and
then there is the problem of no enemy to fight. Never mind. We will
find something for NATO to do. NATO, like every other government
bureaucracy, shall have eternal life, even though its reason for
existence vanished a long time ago.
Sometimes, following the news, I think I’m having hallucinations,
but I know I’m not, for I am as sober as a Southern Baptist preacher on
Sunday morning. Perhaps there is, ‘Matrix’-style, a dual universe. The
Bush administration lives in one, and I in another. I wouldn’t mind,
except that the Bush Universe is likely to have dire consequences for
the universe I live in, as millions of unemployed Americans are
discovering. Ah, if only words were magic. Then we could solve all our
problems by just saying they are solved.
*Charley Reese writes regularly for
various U.S. Internet newspapers: