Tuesday, August 13, 2002

The correctness of my views

Last Feb. 22, I dissected Bush’s comments on North Korea, “No wonder I think they’re evil,” saying that for Bush the belief came first and the evidence, if any, second. I said, “I think he’s actually a little contemptuous of people who have to have evidence and logic to support their beliefs; for real men, beliefs derive from their ‘character.’” Well, here’s Ian Kershaw, in his biography of Adolf Hitler, on Hitler’s reading while in prison after the Beerhall Putsch: “He read not for knowledge or enlightenment, but for confirmation of his own preconceptions. He found what he was looking for.” He told a friend, “I recognized the correctness of my views.”

In a statement of astonishing arrogance even for Rummy Rumsfeld, today he said of Iran, “it may well be that they, for whatever reason, have turned over some people to other countries, but they’ve not turned any to us.” Why on earth would Iran consider itself under any obligation to turn over anyone to the United States? Don’t notice any reporters asking him about yesterday’s plan to send assassination squads into foreign countries.

Today, uninterestingly enough, is lefthanders’ day. Did you know that almost no one in Japan admits to being left handed? Did you know that the longest word you can type using only the left hand is “stewardesses”? Now you know. And by tomorrow, you won’t know it again.

Bush’s economic forum (a word my dictionary defines as “a meeting or medium for an exchange of views,” which is impossible when the views of everyone invited were interchangeable) was described by one participant as the biggest thing ever to happen in Waco. Man, where’s the FBI when you really need them? Several CEOs referred to themselves as “regular folks.” Dick Cheney said “It is easy to sit in Washington and get a disoriented picture of what goes on as opposed to getting out here periodically and ... talk to folks who are day in and day out where the rubber meets the road.” I think he may already be a tad disoriented. Bush himself pushed his Texas accent into overdrive, in the mistaken belief that it was reassuring. The only thing I was reassured by was that this stage-managed piece of propaganda was so incompetent that you could see the possibility for Bush losing in 2004.

Christopher Hitchens writes of Bush Iraqi policy: “A dirty secret is involved here. From the US point of view, the present regime in Iraq is nearly ideal. It consists of a strong Sunni Muslim but approximately secular military regime. All it needs is a new head.”

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