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Wednesday, February 02, 2005

State of Denial 2005

War on terror, freedom, Iraq, social security, liberty, courage, respect, dreams, blah, blah, blah.

As usual, what Bush says sounds great. If he actually did the things he said so grandiosely I wouldn’t have half the problems with him that I do. He has fantastic speechwriters and he’s improved at public speaking tremendously. In fact, he has some of the best speechwriters in history.

But it doesn’t change at all the fact that he was lying through his teeth the entire time. At every opportunity, symbolism, patriotism, emotionalism, and generalizations were waved like post-9/11 flags and yellow ribbons. A woman from Iraq whose father was assassinated. Parents of dead soldiers. It’s even better scripted and presented than the most masterful propaganda of Hitler and Leni Riefenstahl.

But actions speak louder than words for those who are listening. Just as with the SOTU addresses of the past four years, words don’t feed the hungry, don’t provide armor for the troops, don’t actually give the $15 million to AIDS treatment in Africa, don’t decrease the debt, don’t improve or provide for education, and on and on.

Sickly sweet tributes to the troops, tugging at the heartstrings of America, telling us that “we are in Iraq to create a democratic society,” as if that’s why we were there in the first place. His speechwriters seem to have left out the “grave and gathering threat,” with a “smoking gun that might come in the form of a mushroom cloud.” In fact, with everything, it’s a matter of fact as convenience, and when inconvenient, deny the facts. Or better, ignore them completely.

"On the sixth day of Hate Week, after the processions, the speeches, the shouting, the singing, the banners, the posters, the films, the waxworks, the rolling of drums and squealing of trumpets, the tramp of marching feet, the grinding of the caterpillars of tanks, the roar of massed planes, the booming of guns — after six days of this, when the great orgasm was quivering to its climax and the general hatred of Eurasia had boiled up into such delirium that if the crowd could have got their hands on the 2,000 Eurasian war-criminals who were to be publicly hanged on the last day of the proceedings, they would unquestionably have torn them to pieces — at just this moment it had been announced that Oceania was not after all at war with Eurasia. Oceania was at war with Eastasia. Eurasia was an ally." -- George Orwell, 1984

I have never in my 38 years seen or heard more Orwellian speech, behavior, and scripting than I have with this administration. It’s terrifying to me. And millions of others. And the 50 million who voted for Bush keep tossing the facts of recent—or distant—history into the memory hole. Eurasia is an ally.

As one of the best things John Kerry managed to say, "four words: more of the same."

It has proven true, already. Not that I expected otherwise.