Fear, Fear And More Fear
While Dick Cheney goes around telling anyone who will listen that Ned Lamont’s win in Connecticut is a win for Al Qaeda, the rest of us have to suffer the effects of his delusional foreign policy, civil war in Iraq, Islamic extremism on the rise and a widening of the resource wars. I love how information comes out in a trickle with this administration and usually proves the speculation about their bad intentions true in the end. Sure, it’s confirmed long after the information is useful, but at least this President and Vice President are on track to be ravaged by history. It’s a small consolation, but hey, it’s something.
Insight is reporting on the “rift” between Condoleeza Rice and George Bush that has developed over the Israel/Lebanon conflict. It appears that she has far less clout than even she previously thought (time to get those boots out Condi). But even more interesting is the indication that Cheney was in favor of widening the Iraq war from the very beginning (much as many of us suspected):
Aides for Mr. Cheney have argued that the United States should have targeted Hezbollah and Syria during the war against Iraq in 2003. They said despite U.S. intelligence warnings Hezbollah was allowed to dominate Lebanon and build a formidable force along the Israeli border.
"There was talk of taking care of Hezbollah and Syria, but Condi and [then-Secretary of State Colin] Powell said 'no way. We don't need another front,'" an official said.
The psychology of how this White House works is fascinating when boiled down to personality. Georgie’s desire for attention from an overbearing mother type is apparently dwarfed by his need to please his chosen father figure. I have a feeling that Cheney plays his role perfectly by praising Bush (when he does exactly what Cheney wants of course) and acting as a salvo to all the criticism he received (and continues to receive) from Bush Sr. “You’re a smart boy George, you know what to do, you can figure this out.” I also imagine there’s a lot of, “What a great idea, I wish I’d thought of it,” from Cheney as well after feeding him the information that can only lead to one right choice. I think Cheney is the master of getting Bush to believe he’s making his own decisions when we all know that can’t possibly be true. As big of a mess as Bush has made of the world since taking office, I have a sinking feeling it could be worse, but who knows? I can’t ever decide if evil does more damage than incompetence. Too bad there’s no price to pay for either at this point, well, not by the administration anyway.
The excising of Joe Lieberman from the Democratic Party really might be a watershed moment. Lamont’s win over an incumbent Senator is the clearest indication yet that the American people are done with occupying Iraq much less invading more countries in the Middle East. Polls are showing that 60% of Americans are now against this occupation of Iraq and the Democrats have gotten the message (I hope) that they can’t run from the war and that they better get on the side of the voters or suffer the same fate as Lieberman. Congressional Republicans have also heard the message, and that scares the crap out of this White House, prompting Press Secretary Tony Snow to use his podium to spout GOP political talking points at yesterday’s briefing and Dick Cheney to say:
“The thing that’s partly disturbing about it is the fact that, the standpoint of our adversaries, if you will, in this conflict, and the al Qaeda types, they clearly are betting on the proposition that ultimately they can break the will of the American people in terms of our ability to stay in the fight and complete the task.”
I know, nothing new there, the Democrats are on the side of al Qaeda and the American people are stupid. Same old Cheney line, but the thing is, when he says it now, fewer people are buying it and because this administration hasn’t come up with a new way to scare the American people (yet), the same old tired rhetoric has lost it’s punch but they still can’t seem to stop themselves from returning to the well anyway.
I’m sure we’ll hear some doozies while they talk about the foiled attacks in London today. I’ve already heard CNN and MSNBC early this morning singing the praises of surveillance of citizen’s movements, phone calls and financial transactions. Apparently privacy is a liability now rather than a constitutionally guaranteed right critical to maintaining a democratic republic. Expect to hear Dick Cheney say something like, “This is exactly why we need more eavesdropping and greater leeway in surveillance, to protect the American people the way Tony Blair protected the British people this week.” Perhaps Blair will test it out first and report back on just how scared the people have to be before they willingly give up the last of their rights. I’m hoping that card has been played out too, but I’m not quite as hopeful on that score.