Saturday, June 25, 2005

A beacon of freedom

The more revelations spill out about torture in Guantanamo (including the participation of military doctors and psychologists in interrogations), the more vehemently positive of the Bushies’ portrayals of conditions there. Last week, they were talking up the cuisine there. This week, it’s Club Med, Gitmo. Dick Cheney says, “They’re living in the tropics... They’re well fed. They’ve got everything they could possibly want,” adding that they are terrorists and bomb-makers who would “go back to trying to kill Americans”. So they don’t have everything they could want, now do they?

So while Robert Mugabe loses his last remaining marble and bulldozes the houses of 1½ million Zimbabweans in the sensitively named “Operation Drive Out Rubbish,” designed to force his perceived enemies out of the cities into the countryside, where they are less of a threat, the British government has been trying to expel Zim dissidents back home.

Today, Bush met Sorta Prime Minister Jaafari. Here’s an interesting sentence: “The enemy includes former members of Saddam Hussein’s regime, the enemy includes criminal elements, and the enemy includes foreign terrorists.” It’s interesting because it fails to acknowledge that the invasion and occupation of Iraq might itself have generated any sort of Iraqi resistance. The criminals and foreign terrorists are, he implies, people who were already criminals and terrorists, who simply reacted opportunistically to exploit the chaotic situation in Iraq, while the Baathists can be depicted as the stubborn forces of a discredited past. You’d think no new enemies were being created every single day in response to American actions, that the forces of Islamism and nationalism hadn’t been unleashed. Bush:
Prime Minister Jaafari is a bold man. I’ve enjoyed my discussions with the Prime Minister. He is a frank, open fellow who is willing to tell me what’s on his mind. And what is on his mind is peace and security for the people of Iraq, and what is on his mind is a democratic future that is hopeful.
Wow, that is bold. You mean he went right up to Bush and expressed a desire for peace and security and a hopeful democratic future, just like that, to his face? Man, he’s just fearless. Bush:
I want to thank you for helping Iraq become a beacon of freedom.
Don’t know about the freedom part, but...
beacon n 1: a fire (usually on a hill or tower) that can be seen from a distance [WordNet 2.0]

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