Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Friday | July 11, 2003

"Have you no sense of decency, sir?"

By Steve Gilliard

"Have you no sense of decency, sir?" were the words Joseph Welch used to ruin Joe McCarthy, who went a witch hunt too far.

It is time for ALL Americans to ask the same question of the President and the men around him.

He lied to the American people to get them to endorse a war they would not have otherwise.

To say we are glad to be rid of Saddam is to be besides the point. This Administration made certain claims about matters vital to national security. None of which involved dead Shia or democracy in Iraq. There are 250 dead, 1,000 wounded, some crippled for life, behind our invasion. The same invasion which makes it impossible to intervene in Liberia or any other crisis which may arise. The same that offers only poverty to the Iraqis and a distant hope of self government.

An adminstration so inept that is unable to live up to the duties of the Occupying Power in Iraq while now begging the Allies we so casually disdained in starting this war. Suddenly we now need old Europe to help us control the Iraqi beasties. They just won't have a nice, docile colony for us and seek to express themselves. It's time to bring back the days of Mad Dogs and Englishmen and disciplining the wog.

They were told this is what would happen. Only Ken Pollack, who people still, unaccountably cut slack for, said differently. Every other Iraq expert, every one, said this adventure would end badly. Anthony Cordesman, a former Army officer, said without planning for the peace, disaster would strike. Former Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki, a man who lost his leg in combat, was humiliated by Rummy and the PNAC gang for telling the truth.

Bush and his men are liars. Inept, bad liars. Men who told transparent lies. Who slandered others, from Scott Ritter to Hans Blix, because they did not share their world view and delivered what is apparently the truth.

But unlike blowjobs, or even Watergate, Bush's lies are far, far worse. Because he lied about war and 1250 families will live with that lie forever.

Based on biases and lies, starting with the trickster Chalabi, who needs to be dragged before a US Senate or House committee under penalty of perjury, to tell the truth, Americans were sent to die in the Iraqi desert. Because lies were the only way he could get his war.

Desposing Saddam, in and of itself, was not a bad thing. But what is wrong is how and why we did it. To invade and occupy a country where we are expected to either perform miracles or die by the day was not a gross mistake or excuse. It was the natural outcome of a policy based on lies and biases.

It is now clear that the President and those closest to him either disregarded the truth or purposely ignored it. They have misused the Armed forces of this country for a fantasy of empire and children are dying for it. We are at the begining of a series of lies to be revealed, Niger is just the start. We may find, at the end of this process, that nothing Bush said about Iraq, other than Saddam was a murderer, was true. Nothing.

For we can now no longer believe him about anything. A man desperate enough to lie to get us into war would lie about anything, for any reason. Bush and the men around him have betrayed this country with these lies. As surely as Benedict Arnold. But their betrayal was not for greed or born of avarice or malice, but of hubris. They thought our power was unlimited and that we could remake the world. Unfortunately, like King Canute and the tide, some things are beyond us. Like running Iraq.

Decent people would, after looking at the horror of their work apologize and resign in disgrace. I expect these people will have to dragged out by their heels.

Posted July 11, 2003 01:32 AM


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