Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Which Is It?

I missed the president’s press conference yesterday — I have a job, you know — so I didn’t get to see him rewrite history.

I also saw a threat in Iraq. I was hoping to solve this problem diplomatically. That’s why I went to the Security Council; that’s why it was important to pass 1441, which was unanimously passed. And the world said, disarm, disclose, or face serious consequences … and therefore, we worked with the world, we worked to make sure that Saddam Hussein heard the message of the world. And when he chose to deny inspectors, when he chose not to disclose, then I had the difficult decision to make to remove him. And we did, and the world is safer for it.

Whoa. After the resolution passed, Saddam Hussein did allow the inspectors in. It was in the news.

And then, of course, there’s the linking of Iraq to 9/11 — which even the president in the past has said was non-existent.

My attitude about the defense of this country changed on September the 11th. We — when we got attacked, I vowed then and there to use every asset at my disposal to protect the American people. Our foreign policy changed on that day, Helen. You know, we used to think we were secure because of oceans and previous diplomacy. But we realized on September the 11th, 2001, that killers could destroy innocent life.

[…]

Part of that meant to make sure that we didn’t allow people to provide safe haven to an enemy. And that’s why I went into Iraq — hold on for a second —

HELEN THOMAS: They didn’t do anything to you, or to our country.

THE PRESIDENT: Look — excuse me for a second, please. Excuse me for a second. They did. The Taliban provided safe haven for al Qaeda. That’s where al Qaeda trained —

HELEN THOMAS: I’m talking about Iraq —

THE PRESIDENT: Helen, excuse me. That’s where — Afghanistan provided safe haven for al Qaeda. That’s where they trained. That’s where they plotted. That’s where they planned the attacks that killed thousands of innocent Americans.

I also saw a threat in Iraq. I was hoping to solve this problem diplomatically. That’s why I went to the Security Council; that’s why it was important to pass 1441, which was unanimously passed. And the world said, disarm, disclose, or face serious consequences —

HELEN THOMAS: — go to war —

THE PRESIDENT: — and therefore, we worked with the world, we worked to make sure that Saddam Hussein heard the message of the world. And when he chose to deny inspectors, when he chose not to disclose, then I had the difficult decision to make to remove him. And we did, and the world is safer for it.

So the question comes down to this: is the president deliberately lying and hoping that the American public has such a short-term memory that they won’t remember what was going on three years ago, is he so thick in terms of his knowledge of international politics that he conflates religious fanatics in Afghanistan with a secular Iraqi dicatorship (well, they are all brown-skinned and they’re Islamic, so what’s the diff?), or is he just delusional?

I would prefer to find out that he is just lying. That would mean that at least he is aware of the facts of the case and chooses, for his own political fortunes, to prevaricate. It would be a lot worse if he was so disconnected that he can’t fathom the difference between who really attacked us on 9/11 — the equivalent of invading Italy in reponse to Pearl Harbor — or that he is incapable of accepting the fact that his efforts to instill freedom and democracy around the world is not something you do at the hands of the 82nd Airborne. The cruel reality is that the world isn’t safer for the invasion of Iraq and overthrow of Saddam Hussein, and the only reason Iraq is now a haven for terrorism is because we invaded it. Afghanistan is regressing to Taliban-like behavior; Hamas is running Palestine, and Iran is about to pull off their version of the Manhattan Project.

And if he’s lying, at least he can be called on it with facts presented to a candid world. Anything else would require medication, counseling, and the possible intervention of the 25th Amendment.