Richard Bruce Cheney is a funny guy. But you knew that too!
Like Bruce Almighty, Dick Cheney has the miraculous power to make his wishes come true. His dog can be taught to use the toilet, his girlfriend can become more physically ideal, and the moon can grow larger. His company and his friends can become wealthier and his country more powerful, with nothing more than a statement, a wish, a look.
Take the Bush/Cheney takeover of Iraq. Please!
Seriously, imagine Dick and George sitting around while Clinton was President. D and G weren’t doing much, just wishing and hoping and praying that they could get even with Saddam Hussein, put in some military bases, and "manage" regional oil flows, and make some guaranteed money instead of having to compete with the Europeans, Russians, and Chinese to rebuild post-sanction Iraq. Almost sounds like a Coalition for a Drug Free American ad, doesn’t it? Except these guys weren’t smoking pot.
Frankly, the world would have been safer if they were, because afterwards, they would have opened up a big bag of chips instead of Pandora’s box.
But really, wouldn’t it be cool to take over Iraq? Of course it would!
Now it took some lies, a lot of lies. It took some manipulation of the truth, it took some key people in key positions telling some key whoppers. But, we live in a country that thrives on entertainment and exaggeration — we just love lies and the lying liars who tell them. It’s no coincidence that the director of Bruce Almighty was also the director of Liar Liar!
So all of you people, and me too, need to get over our sadness and angst and infuriation about lying in government, lying on the way to war, lying about detainees and the various torture that was or wasn’t used, lying about the success of the occupation, lying about the pending sovereignty we are "granting" Iraq, and lying about Afghanistan too, while we are at it! It’s just good entertainment, and it’s just how things work.
All of our best wars have been based on government mendacity — why fix something that ain’t broke?
Now, it is true we have a small problem. So far, we have lost over 840 and wounded almost 5,000 of our best and brightest and every day costs a few lives and dollars more — but the people demand entertainment, and the sacrifice of lives and livelihoods helps pump up the continuity of the mission and make it "real." It’s a small price to pay for freedom. Isn’t that what we are fighting for in Iraq? Our freedom?
If it isn’t our own liberty (aren’t we a lot more free than four years ago?), it could be "Iraqi Freedom" — I mean, that’s what Dick and George called it. Perhaps we ought to translate that into Arabic, because the sooner we let them know what we are doing, the sooner we can stop killing them.
Look — the best solution at this point is to just buy into the Bush-Cheney entertainment machine, and enjoy the view. Continue to talk up the war as one for freedom, one of defense of our values, promotion of democracy, and good will to men while we are at it. Feel good, America!
Now, at the end of Bruce Almighty, Bruce figures out what a dirty rotten scoundrel he is and begs forgiveness for his hubris and his arrogance and his mistakes. About this time, he is hit by an eighteen wheeler.
Afterwards, he is brought back to life and starts behaving himself. He begins to cherish what is good and beautiful and true, and gains a new existence as a humble and loving person. It’s a nice story about a guy named Bruce, meant to educate and entertain.
But like the words flowing with abandon from the mouth of our Vice-President (and his buddy George), you must always remember, it never really happened. Just entertainment for the masses.
Next thing you know, we’ll see the Vice President proclaiming "I am not a crook!" What fun!
Karen Kwiatkowski [send her mail] is a retired USAF lieutenant colonel, who spent her final four and a half years in uniform working at the Pentagon. She now lives with her freedom-loving family in the Shenandoah Valley, and writes a bi-weekly column on defense issues with a libertarian perspective for militaryweek.com.