23 January 2007

Pipe dreams

“On human rights, I emphasized that no nation’s efforts to counterterrorism should be used to justify suppressing minorities or silencing peaceful dissent.”
-- President Bush, October 25, 2002


My, my, how things change.

When President George W. Bush gives his State of the Union address tonight, it will be to a nation that knows he’s only going through the motions. A new poll by CBS, conducted among a random sample of 1,168 adults nationwide in telephone interviews between Jan. 18-21, indicates that only 28 percent of the people approve of the way he does his job.

Twenty-eight percent.

He’ll give his speech, and we’ll listen because it’s a time-honored January tradition that the President of the United States tells the nation how we’re doing and what the goals are for the coming year. This year, though, most of us know he’s lying. It took us six long, bloody years, but we finally figured it out.

I’m one of those dissenters who never thought much of him in the first place. I was convinced he was – and is still – little more than a wicked, woodenheaded puppet for his much smarter and seriously evil masters. I greeted all of his pronouncements prepared to disbelieve but because I’m a nice person, a little idealistc and yes, an optimist, I was willing to wait before passing judgment. After all, I told myself, could he – and they -- really be that bad?

Well, I no longer wait before I snort in disbelief. He really is that bad. George W. Bush has demonstrated over and over again that I shouldn’t trust him. When I read headlines on Yahoo.com like this morning’s, “Crackdown nets ‘600 Sadr forces’” from the BBC, my instant reaction is, “Yeah, right.” Oh, I’m sure the crackdown netted a whole bunch of miserable, terrified people – the number is probably exaggerated, but that’s to be expected in war – but I have my doubts that they were all dangerous Sadr insurgents. More likely, the vast majority did nothing wrong. They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. That seems to happen a lot in Baghdad. If a car bomb in a public marketplace, a sniper, a kidnapper or a simple criminal doesn’t get you, then there’s always the Americans and government security forces, ready to hood and herd you into yet another one of their triumphant little “sweeps.”

My pipe-dream is that when Bush takes the podium tonight on national television, the entire Congress – our representatives -- will turn their well-fed, well-upholstered backs on him.

I know it won’t happen. Too many of them still have their careers attached to his coattails. Too many have colluded with him for so long, they don’t dare show dissent. Too many know how truly dangerous this President really is, and they’re as morally corrupt as he is.

On Sunday, Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard said on Fox News that skeptics in Congress should be silent about the escalation in Iraq for six to nine months. They should give it time to work, he said, and implied that by dissenting, they’re helping the enemy.

Another little dream of mine is to see Bill Kristol barred from his favorite restaurants, booed on the streets, stricken from the guest lists for national news programs and given his walking papers by the Weekly Standard. He’s a poisonous idiot.

Of course, I know that won’t happen, either.

Yesterday afternoon, e-mail alerts all over the nation popped up with this little jewel: Breaking news out from ABC News: ‘DOCUMENTS SEIZED IN IRAQ REVEAL INSURGENT PLAN FOR ATTACK IN U.S., ABC NEWS' PIERRE THOMAS HAS LEARNED’”

No kidding? I surfed all the major news websites last night and couldn’t find a word about it. You’d think this would be right at the top, wouldn’t you? We’re all in danger again! Grab the duct tape!

But I couldn’t find anything. So I went to the ABC website, looking for more details. Apparently, Charles Gibson reported Pierre’s exclusive on the ABC evening news broadcast, and there were links to the video of the broadcast and to a text story. I have a dial-up connection, so watching the video was out, but I read the text.

The gist? The “documents” in question were seized in a raid six months ago. They laid out an al Qaeda “plan” for “students” to infiltrate the U.S. and carry out an attack along the lines of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Sixteen “students” were arrested in the U.S. not long after; no news on whether or not they actually had anything to do with the plan. There is no present danger, according to the story.

Um, ABC? Pierre?

I looked for the story on ABC’s website this morning to link to it in this post. It was still there, but relegated to a liner hed along the top right of the webpage. When I clicked on it, a story about the new passport rules appeared. Oops.

Maybe you’ll have better luck, but so far, I can’t find another single report about this frightening planned attack, with its headline that suggests imminence, anywhere on the internets.

Is it just me, or does this feel like another of those scary bogus warnings of doom that the Bush administration trotted out again and again between Sept. 11, 2001 and the various election cycles? Remember? They hit the news just about the same time that Americans were starting to ask skeptical questions about the “war on terror” and the war in Iraq.

I thought the timing of this one was a little obvious, given that Bush’s credibility is completely shot, his approval ratings are in the crapper and he’s about to give us his State of the Union fabrication tonight.

Still, it pleases me to no end to see that no other news organization – not the New York Times, not the Washington Post, not CNN -- has given that stinker of an exclusive any column inches or air time.

Perhaps there’s hope, after all.

1 comment:

Wil Robinson said...

I saw that ABC report as well, and was suspicious.

I did notice that ABC Nightly News also provided Hillary Clinton with some free airtime to talk about her run for President...nothing like a neutral press, huh?

I assume they will immediately provide the same time to the rest of the field, including Kucinich? And what about the Republicans? Will we hear from all those rich white men too?