In his canned speech in Cleveland, Ohio (the second of three liefests defending the invasion of Iraq), the Shrub continued to try to link the illegal invasion and occupation of that country to the fight against al-Qaeda.
Yesterday, I spoke about an important example of the gains we and the Iraqis have made, and that is in the northern city of Tal Afar. The city was once under al-Qaida control. And thanks to coalition and Iraqi forces, the terrorists have now been driven out of that city.Except of course, as we all know from the final report of the 9/11 Commission, there was no al-Qaeda presence in Iraq prior to the invasion--and not much of one after, for that matter. A semi-casual, let's-talk-and-see-what-happens kind of contact, made with guns and knives at the ready should some motherfucker decide he's had enough of playing nice and mow everyone in the room down with automatic weapon-fire, perhaps. But no operational ties between al-Qaeda and the regime of Saddam Hussein. But Hussein is an enemy of Osama bin Laden, and the likelihoof of those two ever hooking up is about as good as the chances of Robert Downey Jr. staying sober long enough to keep from violating his parole. It just isn't gonna happen.
So let me reiterate that, for those of you who haven't actually read the 9/11 Commission report or who still believe anything crapped out of Rush "Oxycontin Boy" Limbaugh's mouth: THERE WERE NO OPERATIONAL TIES BETWEEN AL-QAEDA AND SADDAM HUSSEIN.
But, throughout this sick tragedy that is the Iraqi melodrama, Bush and his criminal co-conspirators have repeatedly linked Iraq to al-Qaeda and--by proxy--the attacks that took place September 11, 2001.
As the country we took upon ourselves to invade, break and occupy without raising so much as a finger to repair collapses into outright civil war, the Bush regime maintains--against all reality--that things are just rosy; they tell us progress is being made and, if we only would believe that lie, things will be fine. But we'll stay in Iraq for years to come.
Of course, the false claim that Iraq is doing fine contrasts with the fact its former puppet prime minister has publicly stated that the country is, in fact, in a state of civil war.
Three years after the U.S.-led invasion to oust Saddam Hussein, Iraq is in turmoil with a raging insurgency and a surge in sectarian bloodletting between Sunni Arabs and majority Shiite Muslims.
“It is unfortunate that we are in civil war. We are losing each day as an average 50 to 60 people throughout the country, if not more. If this is not civil war, then God knows what civil war is,” he told the British Broadcasting Corp.
Gee, that doesn't mesh with what our dear-leader Shrub is telling us! But then a lot of things don't mesh with the bile emanating from Georgie's smirking pie-hole.
And then, of course, there's Richard "the Dick" Cheney getting verbally blown by Bob Schieffer.
On Iraq, Schieffer did not challenge either Cheney's statement that "the Iraqis met every single political deadline" or his assertion about the progress of training Iraqi security forces. On the issue of domestic surveillance, Schieffer ignored Cheney's baseless assertion that the administration's warrantless domestic surveillance program has been a "major success in preventing attacks against the United States," and allowed Cheney to claim, without challenge, that the program is "totally in compliance with the laws and Constitution of the United States" -- a claim disputed by many, including several congressional Republicans. Additionally, Schieffer allowed Cheney to repeat the myth -- debunked by Media Matters for America -- that the Bush administration does not follow polls.
With verbal fellatio such as this, it's no wonder the Shrub and his puppetmaster Dickie-boy enjoy taking on the press, which sold its collective spine long ago.
The interview, broadcast during the entire half-hour show, began with Schieffer discussing the war in Iraq. He asked if Cheney's past statements -- "my belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators" and the insurgency is "in its last throes" -- "may be one of the reasons that people seem to be more skeptical in this country about whether we ought to be in Iraq." Cheney replied: "No, I think it has less to do with the statements we've made, which I think were basically accurate and reflect reality." Cheney then falsely asserted: "The Iraqis met every single deadline that's been set for them. They haven't missed a single one."
In fact, in February 2004, the Iraqi Governing Council failed to meet an imposed deadline for drafting an interim constitution, which was to provide the basis for the handover of power later that year. Additionally, in August 2005, the interim Iraqi government failed to meet three deadlines for reaching a consensus on a draft constitution. Iraqi citizens eventually approved the constitution in an October 15, 2005, referendum. Cheney then claimed that Iraq's security forces have seen "major progress." He claimed that "the reality" is that the Iraqi military has "been very successful now in terms of training and equipping over 100 battalions of Iraqi troops, and it continues to improve day-by-day."
And so the lies keep piling up, and the mainstream press continues to bend over for the Bush regime. But this is no surprise. The media, beholden these days to corporate interests, does not risk bringing down the wrath of sponsors by offending those who might support neoconservatives, or the Bush regime's policies. It is left to media watchdogs to blow the whistle to an increasingly war-weary audience too apathetic to even bother listening anymore.
Which is why it is imperative in this midterm election year to seize control of the national dialogue--and we must do it YESTERDAY. We have to control the dialogue, and wake the public up. I will go into depth on this subject in the next blog entry, part 4 of Taking Back America. Until then, stay informed!