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Friday, August 24

The Persistence of Memory

I was having lunch on Wednesday when some complete ass of a coworker put on Fox "News." And there was Dear Leader strutting onto a stage in front of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (who really should know better than to applaud this waste of space and natural resources). After acknowledging the plaudits of the crowd as only a good little Sovereign might do, with a gracious wave of a lily-white paw and that oh-so-condescending faux Texas drawl of his, he began to speak.

I spent the next 20 minutes aghast, my lunch nearly forgotten (it wasn't that memorable anyway).

First, Emperor Empty Suit talked about all the wonderful things he's doing for our veterans (like privatizing the VA hospitals, which precipitated the Walter Reed scandal) and how he's increased health benefits (while at the same time threatening to veto a 3.5% pay increase for active-duty on the grounds that the extra 0.5% is "unnecessary"). The assembled veterans, many of whom seemed to be sliding into dementia, lapped it up like kittens at a creamery exposition.

Then he wandered off into the history books to find just the right analogy to fit the War in Iraq into.

And I almost started choking on my dessert.

An NPR correspondent later that day cited a Shiite proverb that "an analogy is written by the Devil," but in this case it was written by either one of the best gag writers in the business or by El Presidente himself.

He cited World War Two in the Pacific (concentrating on Asian conflicts), as if Iraq had ever attacked us and had the capability to destroy us through its expanding global hegemony. He wanted to point out that there were naysayers regarding the democratization of Japan.

There are ALWAYS naysayers, President Dingbat; dissent is part of the democratic process, a fact that may have escaped your myopia. MacArthur made a deal with the Devil by allowing the Showa Emperor to skate, and to this day many of the authors and perpetrators of Japanese atrocities in that war are honored at the Yasukuni Shrine, a major bone of contention for the rest of Japan's neighbors.

He cited Korea, as if we were fighting an attempt by the Kurdish North to take over the Arab Center and South. That IS the analogy, wasn't it?

Again, holding the line against Communism at South Korea required us to fight only a holding action, especially after Old Asia Hand MacArthur pooh-poohed the idea that China would come to Kim Il-sung's rescue. The ideological struggle of the time was against an expanding wave of Communism fomented by and emanating from two first-rate powers, China and the USSR - and NOT against an ideology that appeals only to alienated and disaffected minorities in impoverished countries (like, say, Iraq now that we've invaded and occupied it).

And he cited Vietnam.

His take on Vietnam was so wrong on so many levels I was very surprised that booing wasn't heard , but then I remembered that the Codpiece only speaks to carefully screened audiences that sign loyalty oaths - oh, and check back to my earlier comment about the vets suffering from dementia. In Vietnam we were fighting Vietnamese - not "insurgents" from Laos, the Phillippines or Japan. The "killing fields" he cited were in Cambodia, and were the result of Pol Pot, whose rise to power was facilitated by our actions in that country.

Also, while there was a level of political violence in Vietnam after the North conquered the South, the dreaded "Domino Theory" never materialized. You DO recall the Domino Theory, Mr. President?

The major problem with El Jefe's oration before the VFW was not that it was transparently flawed, it was that too many people watching it have memories. I grew up during Vietnam, and remember Walter Cronkite on the CBS News talking about the casualties of that war. One of my cousins served there, and wasn't quite right afterward. He's better now, but it took years.

Bush (or his handlers, puppeteers and Cheney) apprently thought that he could rewrite history simply by wishing it so.

It doesn't work that way, Mister "I'll hide out in the National Guard like Dan Quayle."

And it doesn't work that way either, Mister "Five draft deferments."

You can change history books (or burn them, simply by having the Christian al Qaeda declare them "evil" and organize burnings).

But you can't alter or erase people's memories.

Oh, and a good analogy for Iraq, Bushie Baby?

How about Britain's occupation of Iraq in the 1920s? Or don't your books go back that far?

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