Monday, February 20, 2006

Peter, Wendy, and Tink

In Never Never Land, where Peter, Wendy, and Tinkerbelle live, the United States is winning the war in Iraq. How do they know? Why, it’s plain from listening to the television commercials by the Progress for America Voter Fund. There are two of these commercials you know, the first one involving some returning vets who tell us that the US is “making progress” in Iraq, and the second featuring parents of some of the soldiers killed in Iraq.

Just a couple of days ago, Spot got a full-color flyer in the mail from the same group, making the same claims: a mass murderer is in prison (true enough, but remember he was our thug up to the time Iraq invaded Kuwait), thousands of al-Qaeda terrorists have been captured or killed (well, the US has captured and killed a lot of people, but it is pretty clear that some of them, perhaps most of them, weren’t al-Qaeda), Iraqi hospitals and schools have opened (Halliburton painted a few school buildings, big whoop; it’s a good thing those hospitals are open to treat the wounded from all the sectarian violence!), an new constitution is in place (virtually guaranteeing further sectarian violence and the ultimate disintegration of Iraq), and eleven million people have voted (ditto).

The human capacity for self-delusion is breathtaking. And you won’t find a better exemplar than Tink. Tink writes hysterically about Nick Coleman’s two “hysterical” columns about the commercials. Hysterical laughter. Sorry. Tink doesn’t really rebut any of the assertions made by Coleman; Tink just mostly makes ad hominem on Coleman. Coleman points out that in the second commercial, one of the Gold Star mothers pleading that we send more meat into the grinder (Spotty’s words, not Coleman’s) is a step-mom, and that the biological mom is opposed to the war. The best that Tink can do is spit and sputter and tell us, well, there were real moms in there, too!

Coleman said plainly that he didn’t intend to denigrate or minimize the suffering of any family member, step or otherwise, that has had someone killed in action.

Focusing on the second commercial for a moment – the one with the grieving families – Spot is going to be a direct as he ever has been. No one wants the tragic or untimely death of a loved one to seem random, senseless, or unnecessary. That’s why some people talk about it being God’s unknowable plan (and for whom God must be a mean sumbitch), why foundations are formed and scholarships established to memorialize the lost loved one.

That is exactly what the people in this commercial are trying to accomplish; one of the mothers says so explicitly. But heaping more bloody corpses and maimed lives on the pile will bring no honor to the deaths already mourned. It is just more death and maiming. It is very difficult to accept that your child was killed by mendacity and ineptness. But there it is.

And what of the Progress for America Voter Fund? Well as Coleman points out, its first chairman was Ken Adelman. Adelman, Adelman. Where has Spot heard that name before? Of course! It’s Ken “Cakewalk” Adelman, that same Republican operative who told the Congress that the war in Iraq would be, well, a cakewalk. With leadership like that, the PAVF has got be purveyors of solid information. Right?


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