23 August 2006

John McCain does some "fabiating" of his own

In a previous post, I mentioned certain similarities between the way Democrats malign the President and the way in which Fabius Maximus maligned Cornelius Scipio for the sake of achieving political advantage.  At the end of that post I suggested that perhaps we should call this strategy of Democrats, ‘fabiating.’

There are of course a few Republicans who will do some ‘fabiating’ of their own.  One of them is John McCain.  Now he comes to tell us that we were mislead about the war in Iraq.  Now, because I happen not to remember not being misled about the war, I believe that McCain is fabiating for the same reason that the Democrats are: to acquire some political advantage.

According to McCain, we were effectually told that the war in Iraq would be something like a walk on the beach.  Now, of course, no one in the administration actually used the phrase ‘walk on the beach,’ so one wonders how McCain thinks that ‘walk on the beach’ could entered anyone’s mind.

One way is for someone to flat ignore what is said, substituting for what is said what he wishes were said, because what he wishes were said is easier to argue against that what actually was said.  Take for example the recent behavior by Chris Matthews (of “Hardball”).  He played a clip of the President saying that no one in the administration ever said Saddam Hussein ordered the 9/11 attacks.  Immediately after playing that clip, Matthews asked his guest (I think it was Senator Santorum) how he reconciled the President’s claim that there was no connection of Saddam Hussein with 9/11 with a recent assertion by the Vice-President that there was a connection.  Did you catch what Matthews did?  The President did not deny a connection; he denied that the nature of the connection was an order by Saddam Hussein.  In other words, Saddam can be connected in some way with the 9/11 attackes without having ordered those attacks.  Matthews, a typical Democrat ‘fabiator’, just arbitrarily defines the terms such that he can have the President denying a connection and the Vice-President asserting a connection.

So when I say that McCain is ‘fabiating’ by asserting that the administration communicated something that it did not in fact communicate, we can see that it is not beyond the realm of possibility that someone would arbitrarily define key terms just to create out of whole cloth some problem for which the adminstration can be criticized.  And one of those things is, supposedly, telling the American people that the invasion and its aftermath would be so easy as to be correctly equated with a ‘walk on the beach.’

What we were actually told, among other things, was that one of the purposes for the invasion was to fight terrorists over there, so that we wouldn’t have to fight them here.  A ‘walk on the beach’?  Fighting terrorists has never been a walk on the beach for other nations, like Israel, who have been fighting terrorsts for decades.  One has to wonder just how the American people, having been told that the invasion of Iraq was an action perusuant to the Global War On Terror (a war we were told could last a long time, perhaps even as long as the Cold War), could ever have gotten the idea that any aspect of the war would be in any manner comparable to a ‘walk on the beach.’  If they got that idea, despite having been told the type of war that the war on terror would be, then they (i.e., the American people) themselves are to blame for telling themselves that it would be a ‘walk on the beach.’  McCain is ‘grieved’ that the administration did not do a better job at telling “the American people how tough and difficult this task would be.”  But really: how could we not have known how tough and difficult it would be.  I, James Frank Solís, never had any doubts.  I can honestly say that nothing—NOTHING—about the Iraqi theater of the Global War On Terrorism has come as any surprise to me.  Anyone who is surprised just wasn’t paying attention.  And, really, whose fault is that?

Of course, McCain’s fabiating knows no bounds.  He even goes back to the whole ‘Mission Accomplished’ garbage.  And what is interesting about that is the way in which the report mentions both the problem and its solution:

Bush stood below a banner proclaiming “Mission Accomplished” on May 1, 2003 after the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s regime. The war has continued since then, with the death of more than 2,600 members of the U.S. military. Vice President Dick Cheney said last year that the Iraqi insurgency was “in its final throes.”

Supposedly, the declaration, “Mission Accomplished” constitutes some sort of problem because the Iraqi theater of the war continues to be an area of conflict.  But notice what the sentence says: “Bush stood below a banner proclaiming ‘Mission Accomplished’ on May 1, 2003 after the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s regime.”  But the solution to the supposed problem is in the sentence:  collapsing Hussein’s regime was precisely the “Mission” that was “Accomplished.”  

Apparently, most journalists (and liberals generally) haven’t any experience of military service.  For that reason they do not know that “Mission Accomplished” doesn’t mean “The war is over.”  After the invasion of Normandy was successfully completed it could have been declared, “Mission accomplished.”  That hardly meant that the war was over.  It meant only that Operation Overlord, completed 25 August 1944 at the latest, was a success.  The war did not end, in Europe, until 8 May 1945, nine months after “Mission Accomplished” was declared with respect to Operation Overlord.  After Operation Overlord other operations began (like, e.g., Operation Cobra).

If the American people believe they were mislead they have only their own ignorance to blame, ignorance of a great many things it seems.  And ignorance is just the reason that ‘fabiating’ ever succeeds.

And John McCain wants to try to pass himself off as an honest politician.  Some one should tell him: ‘fabiating’ isn’t the pracice of an honest politician.

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James Frank Solís
Former soldier (USA). Graduate-level educated. Married 26 years. Texas ex-patriate. Ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.
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