Monday, March 12, 2007

Self-delusion in the face of unpleasant facts is folly

Dick Cheney gave a speech to an AIPAC conference today, where he was evidently crowned.

Or possibly given a Lisa Simpson haircut. (A bored AP photographer must have had a bit of entertainment lining up this shot.)

He said that in The War Against Terror (TWAT) we have to face “the threat directly, patiently and systematically, until the enemy is destroyed.” This is necessary because “An enemy with fantasies of martyrdom is not going to sit down at a table for negotiations.”

He did not talk only about fantasies, but also myths, specifically the “myths about the war on terror.” For example, “The most common myth is that Iraq has nothing to do with the global war on terror. ... We hear this over and over again, not as an argument but as an assertion meant to close off argument.” Because if there’s one thing Dick Cheney hates, it’s assertions meant to close off argument. 9/11! 9/11! Cheney refuted that “myth” by quoting Loki Bin Laden, because if there’s anyone who eschews myths and looks at the world with crystal clarity more than Dick Cheney, it’s Osama Bin Laden.

Myth number two, according to Bullfinch Cheney, is that you can support the troops without funding every Bush budget request to the last penny. “When members of Congress pursue an anti-war strategy that’s been called slow bleed, they are not supporting the troops, they are undermining them.” Cheney’s mouth watered in a creepy way when he used the words “slow bleed.”

Myth number three is that “getting out of Iraq before the job is done will actually strengthen America’s hand in the fight against terrorists.”

Myth number four is that withdrawing from Iraq won’t lead to a domino effect. “Moderates would be crushed, Shiite extremists backed by Iran could be in an all-out war with Sunni extremists led by al Qaeda and remnants of the old Saddam regime.” The AIPAC members’ mouths watered in a creepy way when he mentioned Muslims fighting other Muslims.

Speaking of myths, Cheney says that Bush “understands, as Ronald Reagan did, that if history teaches anything, it teaches self-delusion in the face of unpleasant facts is folly.” Funny, I thought “self-delusion in the face of unpleasant facts” was the Bush administration motto. Wasn’t it on the bumper stickers in ‘04?

Speaking of myths, Cheney called Ariel Sharon “a man of courage and a man of peace”.

He said, “Either we are serious in fighting the war on terror or not.”

Serious face.

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