Flare-up in shouting war: Right column | VailDaily.com
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Flare-up in shouting war: Right column

Don Rogers

Democracy out of whack? Oh, please. Find a fan, a pool, maybe a cold brew. Drink deeply. Demo-cracy is alive and well in the United States – and inexorably moving forward in Iraq.It has a familiar ring to the hand-wringing over the reconstruction that followed World War II, if you went by the news of the day. The occupying American soldiers were reviled. The U.S.-imposed plans could never work. These people were culturally unworthy and didn’t even want freedom. Blah. Blah. Blah.President Bush lied to send us to Iraq? Hmm, then so did every Western intelligence agency, which also concluded that weapons of mass destruction existed there before the war. Was the invasion oversold and military underprepared for the inevitable “postwar” that would come within days of our invasion? Certainly. Lied? Come on. These critics in all their hot lather might be credible if they at least made some passing acknowledgment of reality.This is far more a shouting war than a shooting one. Yes, each soldier’s death is tragic. But as wars go, it’s not exactly the bloodbath the critics are painting. A half of 1 percent of all the soldiers sent to Iraq have been killed in action. We’re, oh, 57,000 short of Vietnam, 291,000 short of World War II, when more U.S. soldiers died in a single day than our entire time in Iraq, including the Gulf War. Our volunteer forces also are overwhelmingly professional, very good and yes, humane. Allegations of a Koran abused and these folks howling about “torture” and “gulags” with nary a word about Muslims blowing up Muslims in scores? It’s absurd. Our freedoms in America trampled? These folks are kidding, right? What, someone made you take your shoes off at the airport? This week we have the great farce over the outed CIA “operative” who, it turns out, doesn’t appear to qualify as “undercover.” If that’s true, White House folks like Carl Rove broke no laws explaining to a Time magazine reporter that the agent’s husband, Joe Wilson, lied saying she had nothing to do with sending him on a fact-finding mission to Niger. Sorry, Joe, the memo spelling it out was found. Oops. What else is this fellow lying about? Of course, someone lied to the White House flack, Scott McClellan, who a couple of years ago insisted that Carl Rove had no “involvement” at all with leaking that Joe Wilson’s wife was a CIA official. Or maybe he’s the liar. Funny thing: Only five days after Wilson wrote an op-ed in The New York Times that he believed the Bush administration “twisted” his findings in its zeal to invade Iraq, New York Post columnist Robert Novak named Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, as a CIA agent. Later, the horrified Ms. Plame posed with her husband for Vanity Fair and the highly offended Wilson could hardly contain his glee in appearances all over the country, including Aspen, playing this up. Suddenly he was a star. And on. And on. Ad nauseum.The New York Times, which loudly called for a complete investigation into the leak that led its reporter Judith Miller to jail, refuses to cooperate with the investigation. The Times also wants Rove to call a press conference to talk about his role in the still-ongoing investigation for which he has given his blanket permission for journalists to reveal to authorities what they talked about with him. Got it? It’s right there with Bush-bashers trotting out irrational theories that have the White House behind the leak AND determined to investigate it to the point of jailing the sainted New York Times reporter, who presumably would reveal the big White House plot against us all, but for a principle twisted beyond recognition. Why, sure. And “War of the Worlds” is a reality show. So why then are the usual suspects still calling for heads to roll and basically lying about all the lying that’s going on? This is hilarious. The pundits on each side are busy marshaling their “facts” rather than showing the remotest interest in the truth. The operatives are ALL proving themselves to be slimy. Big surprise there.It seems we’re full on into a bright new dawn of propaganda. Well, actually, that’s hardly new, either. This might be why the citizens of countries that supposedly are unfit for and detest democracy turn out at the ballot box in greater numbers than we do for our own elections. And they face real threats of death in doing so. I’m sure Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean has some glib explanation for that. We all ought to be screaming at the nonsense coming from these nuts running/ruining both parties. If we could only stop laughing. The only character in this tragi-comedy with serious integrity is Judith Miller herself. Sitting in jail for not revealing her sources for a story she never wrote.How fitting.Managing Editor Don Rogers can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 600, or editor@vaildaily.comVail, Colorado


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