Friday, February 15, 2008

Old lies and new infamy

Guest post by Swampcracker

My first post on Monday, "Troop reductions: Make that lie #936," was a bit anticlimactic. I started my day as I start everyday, opening the morning headlines in my browser. Suddenly: "What the hell!" The bad news came sooner than expected.

First thing Monday morning, the top news story was about Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates supporting a pause in American troop reductions. According to The New York Times:

It was the most authoritative indication to date that the United States will maintain a large force [in Iraq] through 2008 and into the next presidential term.

The news threw me into a blue funk. Why? Perhaps it was this statement by reporter Thom Shanker: "His assertion... was something of a surprise."

Surprise, indeed! The administration had been alluding to pending troop withdrawals for months but never intended to reduce troop strength. It was merely part of a pantomime to assuage voter concerns about the conduct of a disastrous war.

Dear readers, you should know this pattern of lies and deception by now: The administration makes public noises that contradict its hidden agenda -- the persistent dodge and feint.

I have been watching this balloon fill with noxious gas for months: The administration had been playing games with troop announcements, trumpeting the homecoming of 20,000 troops, then concealing the number of troops rotating back to Iraq. President Bush claimed as recently as last month during his State of the Union address to Congress that 20,000 troops would be coming home.

Fat chance! I had always known that talk about pending troop reductions were empty and disingenuous. I knew the administration intended to throw more blood and bones at the war effort just to salvage its worthless legacy. How did I know? From friends and family serving in Iraq.

Suddenly, pop! The balloon burst, but not quite as I expected. How smooth! The announcement came not from Bush but from Gates. The Commander-in-Chief may lack credibility, but who questions the top brass of the military? This would fly; not even the most astute minds in media would notice the sham beneath the story.

Meanwhile, our men and women serving in the war will be condemned to yet another year of hell in a brutal, neverending war.

Maybe I should just enjoy my newly discovered hypertension and let the lying neocons get away with one more mendacity. No, not this time. I refuse to be suckered and remain silent.

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