Wednesday, March 19, 2008

So?


It’s not just Hillary who’s a monster: according to Zhang Qingli, the Communist Party Secretary in Tibet (i.e., the head of the occupation government), “The Dalai Lama is a wolf wrapped in a habit, a monster with human face and animal’s heart.” Scary.

Speaking of a monster with human face and animal’s heart, Dick Cheney was interviewed in Oman by Martha Raddatz of ABC.

He not only denied that the economy is entering a recession (he did admit to it being in a “rough patch”), but also said that it was entirely natural: “Well, I think it’s a normal part of the cycle.” So that’s okay then. Oh sure, when a cycle hits a rough patch, the cyclist may go flying over the handlebars and hit his head on the concrete, and he doesn’t have any insurance because he was laid off, so... what were we talking about again?

He added, “A lot of it, though, goes back to the basic way the economy functions, and to say that there’s a lot of blame to be assessed here, I don’t think that’s the case.”

Raddatz asked repeatedly about the NIE about Iran. He evaded gracelessly, but with high confidence:
Q: But do you have high confidence they halted their nuclear weapons program in 2003?

CHENEY: I have high confidence they have an ongoing enrichment program.

Q: But not high confidence they halted it?

CHENEY: The enrichment program? They’ve never halted enrichment --

Q: The nuclear weapons program.

CHENEY: Well, just go back and look at the National Intelligence Estimate.

Q: It says high confidence they halted their nuclear weapons program in 2003.

CHENEY: And high confidence that they had a nuclear weapons program.
It’s actually astonishing how inept he is at this, but then it’s not enough that anyone asks him follow-up questions, so he doesn’t get much practice. He added that even if they did shut down the program in 2003, “The NIE does not address the issue, can’t, in terms of whether or not that’s ever been restarted.” Once again, he turns a complete absence of evidence into innuendo gold. And he went on to make his own unsupported intelligence claim: “They are today running centrifuges to enrich uranium to produce a weapon.”

Raddatz kept bringing up polls that say that two-thirds of Americans don’t think Iraq was worth it. Cheney: “They ought to go spend time, like you and I have, Martha.” So he wants two-thirds of Americans to go to Iraq. When she brought it up those poll numbers again, he simply said, “So?”
Q: So -- you don’t care what the American people think?

CHENEY: No, I think you cannot be blown off course by the fluctuations in the public opinion polls.
Fluctuations? To fluctuate, don’t they have to go up as well as down?

But you’ll notice he doesn’t even dispute the unpopularity of his policies, he just doesn’t care. I know this is an obvious point but, can you call a country a democracy if the opposition of the vast majority of its citizens to the waging of war counts for nothing in the eyes of its rulers?

He talked about all the achievements in Iraq, adding “And all of that goes up in a puff of smoke when the United States quits”. Some people might not define something so fragile as a success, but not Cheney.

He admitted that the “insurgency lasted longer than I would have anticipated,” but when asked if his prognostications could not have been a tad less, well, crappy, he responded, “I’m not sure how.” Well, if you hadn’t pressured, intimidated, ignored or fired everyone who didn’t say we’d be greeted as liberators...

Asked “What sacrifice have most Americans made?” he said, “Well, I think they’ve been asked to support the effort and the enterprise.” So they have been asked to sacrifice their intelligence and their humanity.

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