When is a Lie Not a Lie?

The left never seems to tire of reminding us that “Bush lied about Iraq having WMDs!” But was it really a lie? If so, how so? It is an established fact that Iraq had developed and used WMDs previously, against its own citizens, though the left seems to have conveniently forgotten this. In his 1998 State of the Union address, President William J. Clinton said:

Saddam Hussein has spent the better part of this decade, and much of his nation’s wealth, not on providing for the Iraqi people, but on developing nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, and the missiles to deliver them.

The only real question was, did Iraq still have stockpiles of WMDs immediately prior to the beginning of the Iraq war? At the time, every major power in the world believed that it did. Even the U.N. believed it. Yet one never hears anybody saying the U.N. lied, or Tony Blair lied, or Jacques Chirac lied. It’s always Bush, and Bush alone, who “lied.”

Even assuming there were no WMDs, if President Bush, like all the other world leaders at the time, given the best evidence available, believed there were WMDs in Iraq, was it a lie for him to say what he believed? If not, the claim that he lied must be based on an assumption that he didn’t actually believe there were WMDs in Iraq. But why would he not have believed it, considering that everybody else did? It’s generally accepted today that the reason Saddam Hussein didn’t allow the U.N. inspections was because he wanted his neighbors to believe that Iraq still had WMDs. Was there ever any reason to conclude that Bush knew the “truth” when everybody else was taken in by Hussein’s bluff? If not, Bush did not lie. He was, at worst, mistaken.

But it’s always easier to predict the past than the future. As history unfolds, it’s starting to look like, not only did Bush not lie, neither was he mistaken. There is new evidence that Iraq did, in fact, have WMDs, which it was systematically transferring to Syria all the while it was stalling the U.N. inspectors. This new evidence corroborates older evidence that was dismissed by the left at the time as too “convenient.” Yet the evidence continues to grow. What will the left say if confronted with incontrovertible evidence that there actually were WMDs in Iraq? Will they apologize to President Bush for the “lies” they’ve been telling about him for the past five years? Or will they flat out refuse to acknowledge the evidence because it doesn’t support their worldview? (My money is on the latter.)

On April 7, 2008, The Jerusalem Post reported:

An upcoming joint US-Israel report on the September 6 IAF strike on a Syrian facility will claim that former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein transferred weapons of mass destruction to the country, Channel 2 stated Monday.

In January of 2006, The New York Sun wrote:

The man who served as the no. 2 official in Saddam Hussein’s air force says Iraq moved weapons of mass destruction into Syria before the war by loading the weapons into civilian aircraft in which the passenger seats were removed.

The Iraqi general, Georges Sada, makes the charges in a new book, “Saddam’s Secrets,” released this week.

Even prior to that, in the Fall of 2005, The Middle East Quarterly reported:

Several different intelligence sources raised red flags about suspicious truck convoys from Iraq to Syria in the days, weeks, and months prior to the March 2003 invasion of Iraq.

These concerns first became public when, on December 23, 2002, Ariel Sharon stated on Israeli television, “Chemical and biological weapons which Saddam is endeavoring to conceal have been moved from Iraq to Syria.” About three weeks later, Israel’s foreign minister repeated the accusation. The U.S., British, and Australian governments issued similar statements.

Two former United Nations weapon inspectors in Iraq reinforced concerns about illicit transfer of weapon components into Syria in the wake of Saddam Hussein’s fall. Richard Butler viewed overhead imagery and other intelligence suggesting that Iraqis transported some weapons components into Syria. Butler did not think “the Iraqis wanted to give them to Syria, but … just wanted to get them out of the territory, out of the range of our inspections. Syria was prepared to be the custodian of them.” Former Iraq Survey Group head David Kay obtained corroborating information from the interrogation of former Iraqi officials.

The Daily Telegraph reported prior to the 2003 Iraq war that Iraq’s former special security organization and Shawqat arranged for the transfer into Syria of twelve mid-level Iraqi weapons specialists, along with their families and compact disks full of research material on their country’s nuclear initiatives. According to unnamed Western intelligence officials cited in the report, Assad turned around and offered to relocate the scientists to Iran, on the condition that Tehran would share the fruits of their research with Damascus.

So, when is a lie not a lie?

    a) When it’s an honest mistake.
    b) When it’s the truth.

At this point, we don’t know which of the above is the case. But we do know that there is absolutely no evidence that Bush ever actually lied about WMDs in Iraq. So when will the left stop braying that?


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Published in: on April 10, 2008 at 12:07 am  Comments (21)  
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Barack Obama — Man of Mystery

Barack Obama has captured the imagination of the nation. He’s so wholesome, so sincere, so charismatic and charming, he almost comes off as naive. But underneath his ultra-smooth exterior, he’s obviously a very complex, and very conflicted, man.

The Chicago Tribune article, The Not-So-Simple Story of Barack Obama’s Youth tells the following story about his reinterpretation of a difficult period in his life, when he was attending a private boarding school in Hawaii.

In his best-selling autobiography, “Dreams from My Father,” Obama describes having heated conversations about racism with another black student, “Ray.” The real Ray, Keith Kakugawa, is half black and half Japanese. In an interview with the Tribune on Saturday, Kakugawa said he always considered himself mixed race, like so many of his friends in Hawaii, and was not an angry young black man.

He said he does recall long, soulful talks with the young Obama and that his friend confided his longing and loneliness. But those talks, Kakugawa said, were not about race. “Not even close,” he said, adding that Obama was dealing with “some inner turmoil” in those days.

So, Obama sometimes reinterprets real life to better to suit the myth. He seems to see his life as a sort of parable, in which the message is more important than the actual facts. Don’t all politicians do that, though? Perhaps so. But Obama is supposed to be different. The very thing that appeals to his loyal following is that he represents a whole new breed of politician. — In short, a politician you can trust.

Another example of reinterpretation of reality is his reaction to the recent publicity about his pastor and spiritual advisor. Obama claims to have attended church every Sunday for the last 20+ years. Yet, he claims to have never heard his pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, make any militant remarks about the evils of America, or of white people, or how we deserved 9/11. The videos of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and the reactions of the congregation, would seem to indicate that these are familiar themes to his parishioners. Was Obama just not listening to the parts he didn’t want to hear? For over 20 years?

Barack Obama was raised without any religious affiliation. His mother had exposed him to a number of religions, including Christianity, when he was growing up, but she did not subscribe to any of them. Obama himself never felt drawn to any particular religion until he encountered the Trinity United Church of Christ in the 1980s. It was the Rev. Jeremiah Wright who inspired him to embrace the Church and become immersed in that particular brand of Christianity.

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright preaches that Jesus was a poor black man, living under an oppressive white regime (the Romans). Much of the teachings of his church are about the oppression of the blacks, and the evil of the rich white people who run this country. He has a close personal relationship with the militant, anti-Semitic, black separatist leader, Louis Farakkhan. The angry, militant message of racial separatism spewed by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright seems antithetical to Obama’s message of unity and his calm insistence that his candidacy has nothing to do with race. If Obama is so race-agnostic, one can’t help but wonder why, of all the churches in the country, he would be exculsively drawn to one that’s so focused on such a racially charged message.

When I first heard some of the things Michelle Obama said about her feelings toward this country, they struck me as very peculiar. But now that we have some insight into the Obama family’s spiritual life, it all starts to make sense. Obama has tried to distance himself from the dire imprecations of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright against America and against white people, but how could he immerse himself and his family in this racially charged atmosphere every Sunday for over 20 years, and fail to notice it? Why would someone who feels race is not relevant want to expose his young daughters to such radical hate speech as the Rev. Jeremiah Wright habitually preaches? It just isn’t credible — unless he has one of those personality disorders that cause the sufferer to dissociate from experiences too disturbing to acknowledge, resulting in a bifurcated personality.

Obama is clearly a far more complex person than his public persona reveals. The glimpses we’re starting to see into the personal life of the man behind the public persona have vaguely disturbing undertones, like in a movie where you get subtle hints that the almost-too-perfect protagonist isn’t what he seems to be… It isn’t just a question of the indisputably poor judgment of someone in Obama’s position making someone so politically incorrect his spiritual advisor. The more ominous question is what are the deep undercurrents in Obama’s character that draw him to people like Wright and, for that matter, his wife, who are so outspoken in their distrust and seeming hatred for the very country of which Obama desires to become president.


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Economic Histrionics

Yesterday, I saw an article in the newspaper titled Bush Insists US Not in Recession. Why should he need to insist, I wondered. More to the point, why should his simple statement of an easily verifiable fact be characterized as insistence, which carries a connotation of defensiveness and denial?

A recession is defined as a decline in Gross Domestic Product for two or more successive quarters. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, we haven’t had two successive quarters of decline in the GDP since 1991. The last time we had a decline for even one quarter was in 2001. Considering that we haven’t had a single quarter of decline in the GDP for the last six and a half years, it seems rather whimsical of the media to be declaring we’re in a recession, doesn’t it?

Earlier in the week, I read an article titled Survey Shows Economic Depression Likely. The article went on to say an opinion poll revealed that the majority of Americans think we’re headed for a depression. Oh, my. That certainly sounds scary. A depression is even worse than a recession! And, if the majority of Americans think it’s likely, then it must be, right? I mean, the majority of Americans can’t be wrong….

Then again, if you were to ask the majority of Americans what’s the definition of an economic depression, how many of them would know? Is asking a bunch of random people who don’t actually know what a depression means really the best way to determine if one is imminent? The definition of an economic depression is a decline  of over 10% in the GDP. The fact is, over the last four years of Bush’s presidency, we’ve seen an 11.8% increase in the GDP.

What? How can that be? With all this talk of economic disaster, is it possible that we’ve actually had the opposite of an economic depression? Something must be wrong with the data. After all, why would a majority of Americans believe we’re headed for a depression if it has no basis in fact? — Well, perhaps they believe it because that’s what they’ve been told by the media, over and over, for the past year. And now the very fact that they believe it is being sold to them as evidence that it’s true! 

So, how do you know whom to believe, the mainstream media or the data from the Department of Commerce?  Is it conceivable that all this talk of dire economic straits is hyperbole? Well, look around you. How many bread lines have you seen recently? But, if it is just media hype, why would they want us to believe that? In whose interest might it be to stir up fear and uncertainty in the population?  Whatever could be their motivation?

At the risk of sounding cynical, it is an election year. If the majority of Americans believe we’re headed for a depression, or that we’re in the middle of a recession and our president is lying to us about it, they might get pretty upset and worried and feel like we really need a change. (Seems I’ve been hearing that word a lot somewhere lately.) If Americans are living in fear of an imminent economic collapse, they’ll be all the more receptive to claims that it’s those evil capitalists, with their greed, warmongering, and tax breaks for the rich, that have gotten us into this mess. It only makes sense that we need to elect a Democrat to get us out of it.

Not only will the Democrats punish the large corporations for making too much profit, and end the war by heroically turning our backs on the terrorists and scurrying back home, they’ll raise the minimum wage and provide you with free healthcare, free lunches, and free whatever else they can convince you that you need (whether they can deliver it or not). Why would anybody believe that kind of unrealistic rhetoric? Because a lot of people want to believe it, and most people are more than ready to believe what they want to believe. The Democrats know that very well.

But first they have to convince the majority of Americans that times are bad. Times are very bad. — If the aforementioned survey is a reliable indicator, it looks like phase one is succeeding.


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Published in: on February 29, 2008 at 11:58 pm  Comments (6)  
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