2004/09/28

Self-delusions

There's a letter printed in the Neighbors section of the Philadelphia Inquirer on Sept 26 where the writer declares "I am voting for President Bush. I believe him to be a man of honesty and integrity."
Okay, let's consider this tidbit taken from Bush's May 1 2003 speech onboard the USS Abraham Lincoln which specified that the US, by conquering Iraq, had won a "victory in the war on terror (by having) removed an ally of Al Qaeda."
Even by that date, it had been obvious that there was simply no connection between Iraq and al Qaeda. The main evidence for that was simply "the dog that didn't bark". We had statements early on that the Bush Administration was trying to find a connection between Osama bin Laden annd Saddam Hussein before the rubble of the September 11 attacks had settled and the fires had been put out.
During the Clinton era, US intelligence agencies had around $30 billion a year to spend and Bush then made it clear that if he had not already given the agencies anything they wanted, they had what was pretty much a blank check at that point. Well, by 20 months after "the day that changed everything", it was pretty obvious that if any such connection had been found, that news of that connection would have been the stuff ordinary dinner table and water cooler conversation.
So, did President Bush lie to the American people? Of course he did. The lie was flagrant and open and unashamed. Why would he lie about such an important item? Bush was a raging alchoholic well into his forties. Even though he stopped drinking, he never did a twelve-step program to really get over it. He stil maintained his drunken habits of thought, he was and is what one calls a "dry drunk". Lying is second nature to such people.
Lying is also second nature to some corporate bosses. When Enron got into financial trouble, the upper management grabbed their money and even the personnel managers (supposedly the lower-level employee's representative to upper management) told everybody working below them that things were just fine and the company's books were in great shape. As people might remember "Kenny Boy" was a close buddy of Bush back when Bush was Governor of Texas and "Kenny Boy's" campaign contributions made up a significant chunk of Bush's campaign war chest.
The question then becomes "why are people such willing dupes"? Why do people seem to believe such amazingly impossible things? Why are people so stubbornly convinced of what's clearly not true? It just seems that filling in the blanks with fantasy seems to be the operating principle here. That when supporters of President Bush don't have all the facts, they just make stuff up.

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