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Est. April 5, 2002
September 10, 2015 - Issue 620

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The Lie Marches On

"The U.S. does not admit mistakes,
it does not apologize, and it does not pay
for what it has broken. The Bush-Cheney
Administration simply proves that, if the
crime is big enough, you can get away with it."

It is rare that a public lie can live on for more than a decade, despite its having been proven to be a lie multiple times over many years.

Yet, that’s what has happened with the invasion and occupation of Iraq by the Bush-Cheney Administration and their excuse for having created a firestorm in the Middle East by its war of aggression against Saddam Hussein and the nation he ruled.

Dick Cheney is still one of the talking heads on the Sunday and other “news” shows on television. He is still trying to cover up the lie that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, even though the administration was told by world leaders, nuclear experts, and other observers that his troops would find no such weapons in Iraq. At the very least, George W. Bush was told by the world that he and his administration should give the nuclear inspectors a chance to complete their work in Iraq.

Anxious to invade and control Iraq’s oil and, especially, to kill Saddam, they didn’t wait for the inspections and, when the first phase of the invasion was over, discovered that there were no weapons of mass destruction. But, the die was cast and the ensuing occupation laid waste to a country in which, despite being ruled by a dictator, the people had made some progress: It was a secular society and women had some rights, unlike many of the absolute dictatorships with which the U.S. government has been comfortable and with which it has worked out economic and military agreements over many decades.

If they appeared before the World Court at The Hague, Cheney and much of the administration of which he was a part would be spending their time in a gated community, where they would be allowed some time in an exercise yard each day. Since the U.S. is the world’s only superpower, this would not happen. The U.S. does not admit mistakes, it does not apologize, and it does not pay for what it has broken. The Bush-Cheney Administration simply proves that, if the crime is big enough, you can get away with it.

Just this week, Cheney was making the rounds to those who suborn his lies, usually known as the national media, but in this case, he made a speech to others who gratefully receive his twisting of history, the American Enterprise Institute. During his visit, he called President Obama’s agreement with Iran “madness,” as if negotiation with other countries is the product of a fevered and cowardly mind.

To Cheney and others like him (that would be most of the George W. Bush Administration), the only way to deal with “enemies” is to rattle sabers and, if that doesn’t work, use the sabers and some bombs. So much for Republican President Teddy Roosevelt’s advice, to speak softly and carry a big stick: In Cheney’s case, he doesn’t care what tone of voice is used, as long as it results in hostilities, if not all out war.

Theirs was the true madness. Their act of aggression in Iraq set the Middle East on fire and the end is not in sight. Perhaps, the worst is yet to come. Blood and treasure are what we have given for a senseless (to the average rational person) adventure, which has cost thousands of U.S. military their lives and rained death and misery on untold tens of thousands (some say hundreds of thousands or millions) of the people who live in the ravaged region.

Not that Cheney is alone among modern day warmongers. The administration of which he was a part was filled with such people. Then again, why would they not want war? After all, it is one of the easiest ways to pile fortune upon fortune: Scare the people, frighten them into supporting any war against any adversary, cut social programs, and fund the Defense Department and the military above all else, and go to war. The money just keeps flowing to the 1 percent. No one should have to ask why there is such a disparity in wealth and income in America.

When the former vice president is interviewed on television, he is not asked how much he made for his company, Halliburton, one of the biggest beneficiaries of the trillions of dollars in bloody war money. Was the Bush-Cheney Administration blinded by madness? There was some of that blood lust involved in the rush to invade, but it was more than that. As the famous Deep Throat of Watergate told the two reporters, “Follow the money.”

But the lot of them never had to worry about their personal safety, nor the safety of their own families. They didn’t have to serve in combat. Cheney avoided service in Vietnam, the war of his time. “I had other priorities,” he sneered. The lies that he and others in the administration told to take the country to war in Iraq continue to this day and Cheney is the point man in trying to rewrite history. It didn’t take long for them, when they found no weapons of mass destruction, to claim that the world was better off without the existence of Saddam Hussein. That may be so, but was it worth the destruction of an ancient nation to take out one dictator? Because making war pays big money to some, it was worth it to Cheney.

What should be more shocking than Cheney’s rewrite of history and his criticism this week of the Obama Administration’s Iran nuclear agreement is the simple fact that he has been asked for his opinion by the national media, those who purport to provide news and information that the people need to make decisions in a democratic society. The man has been dead wrong, when he hasn’t been lying, yet they keep dragging him out and putting him in front of the cameras, when the only thing he has to offer is misery, especially for the young men and women who are shipped off to fight his wars.

Shame on the press and their abuse of the great First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Columnist, John Funiciello, is a long-time former newspaper reporter and labor organizer, who lives in the Mohawk Valley of New York State. In addition to labor work, he is organizing family farmers as they struggle to stay on the land under enormous pressure from factory food producers and land developers. Contact Mr. Funiciello and BC.

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