August 08, 2007
When it comes to right and wrong, let’s throw out the labels “conservative” and “liberal”. These terms have been denuded of meaning. Thanks to those pushy “neoconservatives” and their prominence in recent years, the average person is understandably confused as to what a genuine conservative is. The average person is apt to think that clowns such as Rush Limbaugh and Bill O”Reilly, and talking heads such as Fred Barnes and Bill Kristol, and their ilk, are conservatives, whereas they are simply opportunists, profiteers, and professional propagandists, using the conservative label as a flag of convenience. This is a curse of the “neocons”, and it may be one reason that I am starting to appreciate the work of certain so-called “liberals”. I have one in mind right now. His name is Bill Moyers.
This week, some PBS stations are rebroadcasting his documentary “Buying the War”, which came out last April. I did not catch it the first time around. I caught it by accident on Monday. It is outstanding, a blockbuster from start to finish. God bless Bill Moyers and his staff! Here is the transcript to read. Here is the video to watch.
The documentary makes you sad and startles you at the same time. Sad that so many intelligent people could be so foolish. Startled that supposedly the most intelligent—our national leadership in Washington and the national media—could be the most foolish of all, and the most wrong. The “neocons” are all there in full cry pre-war, and more revolting than ever when viewed in retrospect. And we get to observe some of their dupes—such as George Will, Vanity Fair magazine, and Colin Powell—who have since changed their tune and seen the error of their ways. There is a handful of heroes. My favorite is a thoughtful man named John Walcott, the Bureau Chief of Knight Ridder in Washington. He and his reporting team of Warren Strobel and Jonathan Landay tried hard not to get caught up in the war hysteria which was being deliberately manufactured by the White House and the “neocons”. Vanity Fair editor-in-chief Graydon Carter should run an article spotlighting Walcott, Strobel and Landay. Maybe he has. They deserve accolades.
I love Walcott’s down-to-earth remarks about the run-up to Operation Iraqi Freedom: “Our readers aren”t here in Washington. They aren”t up in New York. They aren”t the people who send other people’s kids to war. They”re the people who get sent to war. And we felt an obligation to them, to explain why that might happen.” And then this: “A decision to go to war, even against an eighth-rate power such as Iraq, is the most serious decision that a government can ever make. And it deserves the most serious kind of scrutiny that we in the media can give it. Is this really necessary? Is it necessary to send our young men and women to go kill somebody else’s young men and women?” And this corker: “…some of the things that were said, many of the things that were said about Iraq didn”t make sense. And that really prompts you to ask, “Wait a minute. Is this true? Does everyone agree that this is true? Does anyone think this is not true?” These are the thoughts and questions which Walcott and his reporters were thinking and asking back then when it counted, at the time of the national scam, not now, when it is too late and after Uncle Sam and the rest of us have been taken for a ride. Watch the video highlighted above or look for the show on PBS.
In any relationship, business or personal, there can be a major crisis when one side discovers that the other side has lied or otherwise been deceitful. At that point, it is time for some straight talk. The offending party either must apologize, perhaps giving an explanation or excuse for the deception, or else hit the road, and the relationship is over. The current regime in Washington and their “neocon” jackals and the enablers in Congress, both Republicans and Democrats, still have not addressed the issue of how they railroaded this country into a gratuitous war and, more importantly, why they did it. At best, the Democratic enablers on Capitol Hill (your next President, Hillary Clinton, for example) have simply jumped off the war wagon, because the war wagon has hit a rocky road and is ready to crash. They want to save themselves—that’s all. As for the Cheney White House, it continues on its merry way, as evidenced by Cheney’s slippery performance on Larry King Live last week. In sum, the game of deception continues as before, without pause or apology. In the face of this, it is a bit surprising that there is not a national outcry for Cheney and Bush to resign. In the meantime, the “neocons” still hold their heads high, even though they have been discredited, were dead wrong all along, and have lied to us from the start. The relationship between America’s rulers and its citizenry has been poisoned. Is everyone in denial, except for the perspicacious readers of Taki’s Top Drawer? Hopefully not.