Clichs

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It’s fun sometimes to collect current clichés, which are worn-out uses of the language, such as "at the end of the day." Why can’t we just say at twilight or after the sun sets?

Another cliché is "you can run but you can’t hide." Osama bin Laden has disproved that, and indeed there are literally thousands of fugitives in the U.S. who have successfully both run and hidden.

Usually when some politician says "the reality is" or "the facts are," the reality isn’t and the facts are fiction. The Bush administration continues to claim that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapon. There is no evidence to support that claim. It continues to claim that the Iranians have called for the destruction of Israel. They have not. They have called for a change of government in Israel.

The Republican candidates for president, with the exception of Ron Paul, seem to be competing to see who will start a war with Iran first. They, like the president, repeat the same lies.

The reason our so-called diplomacy hasn’t worked is because the Bush administration position is this: Iran, unless you stop what you are legally entitled to do (enrich uranium for nuclear fuel), we won’t talk to you about not doing what you are legally entitled to do. You can’t have talks if your position is that the other side must give in to your demands as a precondition.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent and successful visit to Iran seems to have so rattled Mr. Bush that he is prattling on about World War III. If he would read the joint statement issued at the end of the meeting, he would see that the meeting was mostly about doing business. Russia and Iran have the right to do business with each other. Putin, who also doesn’t want Iran to develop nuclear weapons, said making threats is counterproductive. He also said that he sees no evidence that the Iranians are pursuing nuclear weapons.

Bush, as if to contrast his lack of knowledge, said that people who want to avoid World War III should want to prevent Iran from getting "the knowledge" to make a nuclear weapon. That knowledge has been available to practically the whole world for decades. The real difficulty is the engineering.

Bush is starting to scare me. His disconnect with reality seems to be growing. Hopefully, he’s not really delusional; it’s just the way he mangles the English language that creates that impression.

We should keep in mind that Iraq’s Saddam Hussein kept saying he had no weapons of mass destruction and the Bush administration kept insisting that he did and was about to use them on us. Turns out, of course, Saddam was telling the truth and the Bush administration was not.

Now the Iranians keep saying they are not pursuing nuclear weapons and have no desire to acquire nuclear weapons, while the Bush administration keeps insisting that they are and that Iran represents an imminent danger to Israel and to the U.S. As sad as it is to say, the credibility at this point rests with the Iranians.

And if you are curious as to why the Bush administration and the Republican presidential hopefuls are so fixated on the alleged threat posed by Iran, it’s because Israel is pushing the U.S. to attack Iran. Israel, unfortunately, seems to have grown paranoid, even though the idea that Iran could threaten Israel, which already has plenty of nuclear weapons, is absurd.

But at the end of the day, the reality is that truth has an uphill struggle in America these days. Know what I mean?

Charley Reese [send him mail] has been a journalist for 49 years.

© 2007 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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