Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Once a Liar, Always a Beguiler?

Now that it has been firmly established that President Bush and many in his administration are liars, how does one take any future statements from this gang?
At this point they have me perplexed. Should I believe anything they say? Should I assume some statements are truth? Do I pick and choose what is truth and what is falsehood?

For instance, now that all the talk is about a possible war with Iran, should I believe the Bush posse when they discuss the topic. Here are two statements about attacking Iran that makes me wonder what should I believe.

President Bush on reports about bombing Iran, "I read the articles in the newspapers this weekend, it was just wild speculation."

Donald Rumsfeld on the same subject,
"There is obviously concern about Iran. Iran is a country that supports terrorism. It is a country that has indicated" a desire to obtain nuclear technology. "But it is just simply not useful to get into fantasy land."

And then there's Late Night host David Letterman on Bush,
"President Bush is denying that he's planning an airstrike on Iran, so you know what that means: They're planning an airstrike on Iran."

Letterman's joke although funny, sends chills through many of us that also recognize what a liar we have as a president. I hear sound bites like "wild speculation" and "fantasy land," and begin thinking just the opposite, like a Letterman joke. To me when I hear "wild speculation," I think "good guess." When I hear "fantasy land," I wonder "future world?"

It could be Bush and Rumsfeld are trying out new names for the Iran attack, maybe Operation Wild Speculation or Operation Fantasy Land, that of course would be their inside jokes about the bombing plans. The Iran War name for the public would be more like Iranian Freedom or Operation Nuclear Free.

In a strange way, the Bushies have us beguiled. Now that they know that most Americans consider them liars, they can play with us. They can hint one direction and feign to the other way. They can say one thing and be truthful and we would be surprised but unsure if it's the truth. Once a liar, always a liar is an old saw, but it doesnt tell the whole story. Once one is a known liar, truth and fiction can be hard to figure out.

Most of us know liars and we generally just dismiss most of what they say, we are skeptical of everything the person says. But with Bush, he's a president and his words have big effects to all Americans. We can't just dismiss Bush when he says something, we have to try to figure out if it's the truth or a lie. And the Bushies know this paradox and thus can more than just lie to us, they can beguile us.


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