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"It is better to be drunk with loss and to beat the ground, than to let the deeper things gradually escape."

- I. Compton-Burnett, letter to Francis King (1969)

"Cynical realism – it is the intelligent man’s best excuse for doing nothing in an intolerable situation."

- Aldous Huxley, "Time Must Have a Stop"

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Wednesday, 3 December 2003

Topic: Bush

Is the President a Pathological Liar? Define "Pathological."

Well, the answer is no. Or it's a little more complicated than that.

I recommend this item.

Bush's unhealthy relationship with reality
by David Corn, L.A. Weekly, DECEMBER 5 - 11, 2003

As for the pathology involved, Corn is still reconsidering matters.
What forced this reconsideration was a speech Bush delivered in late November to several thousand troops at Butts Army Air Field in Fort Carson, Colorado. On this occasion, Bush served up the usual rah-rah about the war on terrorism. But as he was hailing the U.S. military, he remarked, "Working with a fine coalition, our military went to Afghanistan, destroyed the training camps of al Qaeda and put the Taliban out of business forever."

Out of business forever?

That was a false statement.

... What then could account for Bush's truth-defying assertion about the Taliban? After all, it was a statement ridiculously easy to disprove. (The Bush bashers of immediately sent out a mass e-mail citing this remark as further evidence that Bush is a misleader.) Was Bush really trying to hornswoggle the troops and the American people? In a way. I assume that had he bothered to think about this line, he probably would have realized that it was inaccurate and that there was no reason to claim the Taliban was stone-cold dead when he could have truthfully declared that the U.S. military (under his command) and its Afghan allies had routed the Taliban. It was not as if Bush said to himself, Aha! I know what I'll do. I will boast that I eliminated the Taliban -- even though anyone who follows this stuff knows a Taliban resurgence is under way -- and fool people into believing I am winning the war on terrorism.

Bush was more likely engaged in the deceit of triumphalism -- ignoring facts and saying whatever sounds good to juice up the public. It was hype, extreme rhetoric, utterly divorced from events on the ground. This statement was a report from Planet Bush, not the world as it exists - a demonstration of Bush's penchant to embrace (and peddle) self-serving fantasy over the obvious truth.
Yep, we all see that.

But after reviewing many other items Corn's conclusion is this:
So Bush tells us the ongoing war in Iraq is a strike against the forces that hit America on 9/11 and would do so again (were it not for the invasion of Iraq), and he proclaims the Taliban extinct. None of this is supported by the readily available information provided by the media or Bush's own military. Making such melodramatic and misleading claims may or may not be pathological, but it certainly isn't a sign that Bush has a healthy relationship with reality.
Is this a problem? Read the whole thing. It won't make you feel better.

Posted by Alan at 21:08 PST | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Tuesday, 9 December 2003 13:43 PST home

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