Debunking Stupid Liberal Memes, Part VII: “Bush Lied, People Died!”
Back in 2006, Bill Whittle wrote a brilliant piece entitled “Seeing the Unseen” in which he dismantled many of the typical Liberal mantras, most of which could be found proudly and ignorantly plastered on the back of their car bumpers. This post by Mr. Whittle was the first one I read by him and it made me an instant fan of his work. Read on and you will soon see why:
Bush Lied, People Died.
Recent reports of the advanced state of the Iraqi nuclear weapons program, and the confirmed presence of 700+ chemical shells leaves this chestnut in some disarray. However, even if you take that away, the entire concept is a cowardly and petty retreat spoken by people who know better.
Here is a pretty decent encapsulation of what both Republicans and Democrats had to say about Saddam and WMD’s. You will find Bush’s and Rumsfeld’s rhetoric somewhat less adamant and warlike than that of Mr. and Mrs. Clinton, John Kerry, John Edwards, Al Gore, Robert Byrd, Nancy Pelosi, Hans Blix, Madeline Albright, Sandy Berger and all the rest. These were elected representatives who studied the same intelligence that the White House did, and came to the same conclusion.
Unfortunately for them, Al Gore in his unbridled enthusiasm went and invented the Internet, and so now there is a record of what they said and when, available to the great unwashed masses. It shows a group of people deeply concerned about what was a pressing threat to this country. And now, almost all of them claim they were lied to? Are they capable of reading intelligence reports themselves, or did Bush have to read it to them aloud, with them seated at his knee in My Pet Goat fashion, skipping the parts he didn’t think would make a good sell? Some people say that they did not get the same intelligence that Bush got. To the degree that is or isn’t true, the record shows that it was the more outlandish claims that were not included, so that the intelligence that led them to come out against Saddam and in favor of military action was less provocative than the intelligence the President and Secretaries of State and Defense saw.
The invasion of Iraq was meant to prevent Saddam Hussein from using Weapons of Mass Destruction. This mission was accomplished by the time President Bush stood on that carrier deck. The huge majority of casualties we have incurred in the occupation and reconstruction of Iraq have come about by our willingness to rebuild and secure a country that we owed nothing to whatsoever.
Here is the legacy of the Bush Lied, People Died crowd: in the future, we know that no good deeds — building of hundreds of schools and hospitals — will go reported. We know that no foul deeds — a handful of idiots humiliating prisoners over the course of a few days — will ever be put into perspective.
So why do it? Why build schools and hospitals, and protect polling places, and suffer the casualties we have suffered to get a country on it’s feet, if all we hear and see is the negative and the undeniable failures? The next time we have to go and kick the hell out of some band of rabid crazies, why not just kick the hell out of them and then go home? Because there will be a next time, and I suspect sooner rather than later. By refusing to report the myriad successes and kindnesses, our compassionate and caring moral betters in the media have only shown there is very little reason to do them in the first place, except for the satisfaction of our own morality and conscience — which I hope will be enough.
Let me leave you with something very, very important. It is the greatest logical fallacy of them all, and if you hope to gain any perspective in the world today, I believe you have to understand what I am about to say in your bones.
You cannot just count the hits and not record the misses.
May I show you something to make this point?
What you are about to see is a graphical representation of commercial air flights over the US on any given day. You will see dawn on the east coast as more and more flights get airborne, and watch morning spread to the west as the country comes alive. It is one of the most beautiful marriages of science and art I have ever seen. It is here. Go take a peek then come back. I’ll still be here.
Every dot in that animation is a jetliner, carrying hundreds of people. This is the first time I have ever actually seen the miracle that takes place in our skies every single day.
Why am I showing you this? Well, because every single dot in that ocean of sparks is a successful flight. Tens of thousands of flights land in this country every single day and no one says a word about it. And yet, when there is an accident — and you would have to watch every dot in that animation almost 2000 times to get back to the last fatal accident by a large-scale carrier — that sticks in our minds, obviously, and that image of burning wreckage is what stays with some people on their entire flight. They do not think about all the millions of flights that land safely. Nor do they think about the thousands of car accidents that occur with so much greater frequency.
Because we are recording only the hits — the crashes — and not recording the misses, namely, the safe landings. If you had to drive to work every day listening to radio announcements of every successful landing, you would be listening to a cacophony of flight numbers twenty-four hours a day. After a few years of this you might be able to get a glimmer of perspective on the safety of modern air travel.
Likewise in Iraq. Hand out candies to children on a daily basis, and the smiles and gratitude are nowhere to be seen on US television. But if some death-loving lunatic decides to scatter body parts to the four winds you can bet that will get the News media’s attention. Complete a new hospital, or a water treatment plant, or bring electricity or television stations to neighborhoods that never had them before? Yawn.
On the day of the last Iraqi elections — the day they ratified the constitution the press said these people would never ratify — CNN’s lead story was about nasty rain showers sweeping the southeast. About these historic elections there was heard not a peep.
Iraqi TV has a version of American Idol. Did you know that? They produce hundreds of hours of comedies, game shows — all that stuff. Sounds a little arcane for Iraq, you say? A little normal? That’s because people who believe they are smarter than you have decided that such stories of hope and success do not fit the narrative needed to teach you poor ignorant slobs the lesson that you are supposed to be learning, and that lesson is that George Bush is a murderer while Saddam was a statesman, and that Iraq is a failure fueled by the blood of poor, innocent, child-like soldiers too stupid to realize that they are dying to line the pockets of Halliburton.
My critical thinking skills, such as they are, tell me that you might be able to corral an army and send it over there under such false pretenses. What I cannot explain is why so many people in the military re-up, two or three or four times, to go back and fight for this oil-soaked lie that people here maintain is the truth, despite what the people who have actually been over there have to say about it.
This is an all-volunteer military. Why would so many of these people keep returning to such danger, and put themselves and their families at such terrible risk, for a lie or a mistake?
If Iraq is a con game and an oil steal and an unwinnable quagmire then this just doesn’t make any sense. But back they go! That’s the data. The people most optimistic about Iraq — and those with the most to lose — are generally the same people. They are the men and women who are over there now because they believe they are doing something honorable and good. No one is forcing them to reenlist. Hear that John? I’d hire any one of these people in a heartbeat. They are brighter than the general population, and they are so far beyond their Ivory Tower critics in terms of discipline, courage, ingenuity, integrity and honor that it makes one’s head spin.
Are we beating these terrorist scumbags and child-targeting insurgent bastards? Are we winning?
Well, let’s see if we want to switch sides with them. Let’s imagine the war where the insurgents have our cards and we hold theirs.
Imagine the US completely occupied by Al Qaeda forces, subject to Sharia law. We are able to take pot shots at a few of them, and we manage to murder a few dozen of our own people every day in an attempt to stop the population from collaborating with the hated invader. But more and more Americans seem to be turning to Sharia and want to get on with their lives. We find sixty percent of the population wants Al-Qaeda to leave, but hatred for the US insurgent forces — the Wolverines — is at about 98%. The people hate the occupiers, but they despise the Wolverines.
Now imagine that a year into the occupation of America, George Bush’s two daughters were killed in a firefight with the enemy, which had surrounded the college sorority house where they were hiding. A year after that, President Bush was pulled out of a septic tank in Crawford by the Fedayeen, then put on trial and sentenced to hang, which he did on national television to widespread cheering. Condi Rice, captured in an early morning raid several years ago, has been a great source of useful information to target the American resistance, and Donald Rumsfeld was killed by a suicide bomber this last summer.
Everywhere you turn — in every street and every city in America — Al Qaeda forces run security patrols, training Americans to do this for themselves. The only way to stop this is by killing our own people, which further alienates us from a populace that already despises us.
Does that feel like winning to you? Me neither. Welcome to the insurgency.
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