maandag, juni 02, 2003

Tattoos, Bad Idea

"I was not lying. I said things that later on seemed to be untrue."
Richard Nixon, discussing Watergate

While reading through a poll conducted at the Scripps Survey Research Center on American thoughts on the recent war against Iraq, I noticed a bunch of questions that closed out the poll, having nothing to do with American opinions on the war or chemical weapons or George Bush. Questions delving into peoples' opinions about things like cloning, scientists and ethics, the editorial pages of newspapers, the use of firecrackers on the 4th of July and most importantly, Do you think it is a good idea or bad idea for people to get permanent tattoos?

The answer of the vox populi was: Tattoos Bad Idea: 59%. However, while 22% thought it was a good idea, only 15% of the respondants actually had a permanent tattoo somewhere on their body. That means somewhere out there, 7% of America, almost 2 million Americans, think it's a good idea but haven't actually gotten one yet.

Hard News Cafe reports that "The last decade has resulted in tattooing becoming one of the fastest growing retail businesses. There are about 15,000 tattoo parlors currently in business.". Hard News cafe also noted that: "with the growth of Christianity, many European countries forbade tattoos in 2200 B.C."

So, what have the Christians got against tattoos? Aren't they busy enough with finding out whether or not there are terrorists among them?

Apprently, God told them tattoos were a Bad Idea:

"Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD."
Leviticus 19:28


The point of even reading the poll to begin with was its finding that slightly less than a third of people asked said they are "absolutely certain" that the official reason for U.S. military involvement was true. Forty-one percent of the people in the poll said they are "absolutely certain" the United States did the right thing in sending "troops into Iraq to force it to disarm its weapons of mass destruction." Another 25 percent were "pretty certain" while 31 percent were "not certain."

This came on the heels of reading the Vanity Fair interview with Paul Wolfowitz wherein he notes famously that:

"The truth is that for reasons that have a lot to do with the U.S. government bureaucracy we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on which was weapons of mass destruction as the core reason, but there have always been three fundamental concerns. One is weapons of mass destruction, the second is support for terrorism, the third is the criminal treatment of the Iraqi people."

This should be pointed out as another fine example of the useless inaccuracy of these kind of polls to gauge the feelings of the John Q. American. Weapons of Mass Destruction and Saddam Hussein's intent to use them on Americans was not only the justification for the invasion itself, but for the urgency with which the Bush Administration shoved it down the world's collective gullet.

For a refresher course on the Bush Administration's hysterical claims to justify an immediate, preemptive invasion of Iraq, Tom Stevens of Counterpunch provides us with a neat summary of the lies told in the push for the invasion of Iraq:

Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.

Dick Cheney August 26, 2002

Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons.

George W. Bush September 12, 2002

If he declares he has none, then we will know that Saddam Hussein is once again misleading the world.

Ari Fleischer December 2, 2002

We know for a fact that there are weapons there.

Ari Fleischer January 9, 2003

Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent.

George W. Bush January 28, 2003

We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more.

Colin Powell February 5, 2003

We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons -- the very weapons the dictator tells us he does not have.

George Bush February 8, 2003

So has the strategic decision been made to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction by the leadership in Baghdad? I think our judgment has to be clearly not.

Colin Powell March 8, 2003

Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.

George Bush March 17, 2003

Well, there is no question that we have evidence and information that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical particularly . . . all this will be made clear in the course of the operation, for whatever duration it takes.

Ari Fleisher March 21, 2003

There is no doubt that the regime of Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction. As this operation continues, those weapons will be identified, found, along with the people who have produced them and who guard them.

Gen. Tommy Franks March 22, 2003

I have no doubt we're going to find big stores of weapons of mass destruction.

Kenneth Adelman, Defense Policy Board , March 23, 2003

One of our top objectives is to find and destroy the WMD. There are a number of sites.

Pentagon Spokeswoman Victoria Clark March 22, 2003

We know where they are. They are in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad.

Donald Rumsfeld March 30, 2003

Obviously the administration intends to publicize all the weapons of mass destruction U.S. forces find -- and there will be plenty.

Neocon scholar Robert Kagan April 9, 2003

I think you have always heard, and you continue to hear from officials, a measure of high confidence that, indeed, the weapons of mass destruction will be found.

Ari Fleischer April 10, 2003

We are learning more as we interrogate or have discussions with Iraqi scientists and people within the Iraqi structure, that perhaps he destroyed some, perhaps he dispersed some. And so we will find them.

George Bush April 24, 2003

There are people who in large measure have information that we need . . . so that we can track down the weapons of mass destruction in that country.

Donald Rumsfeld April 25, 2003

We'll find them. It'll be a matter of time to do so.

George Bush May 3, 2003

I am confident that we will find evidence that makes it clear he had weapons of mass destruction.

Colin Powell May 4, 2003

I never believed that we'd just tumble over weapons of mass destruction in that country.

Donald Rumsfeld May 4, 2003

I'm not surprised if we begin to uncover the weapons program of Saddam Hussein -- because he had a weapons program.

George W. Bush May 6, 2003

U.S. officials never expected that "we were going to open garages and find" weapons of mass destruction.

Condoleeza Rice May 12, 2003

I just don't know whether it was all destroyed years ago -- I mean, there's no question that there were chemical weapons years ago -- whether they were destroyed right before the war, (or) whether they're still hidden.

Maj. Gen. David Petraeus,
Commander 101st Airborne May 13, 2003

Before the war, there's no doubt in my mind that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical. I expected them to be found. I still expect them to be found.

Gen. Michael Hagee,
Commandant of the Marine Corps May 21, 2003

Given time, given the number of prisoners now that we're interrogating, I'm confident that we're going to find weapons of mass destruction.

Gen. Richard Myers,
Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff May 26, 2003

They may have had time to destroy them, and I don't know the answer.

Donald Rumsfeld May 27, 2003


The certainty of these declarations of doom and death if Saddam wasn't immediately removed from power seems to wane as reality sets in. Perhaps we should name it something like Progressive Truth: Lie outright in the beginning to spread the most outrageous justifications for invasion and once the invasion is accomplished, gradually allow the layers of the lie to peel away until finally, Wolfowitz allows that the deception had to do with "government bureaucracy".

But that's why you've got to admire a man like President Bush. He doesn't believe in Progressive Truth. Instead, he feels compelled to confirm to us his theory of Static Oblivion which holds that no matter how inaccurate, illogical or dangerous your beliefs, hold to true to them for dear life lest you have to actually examine the accuracy of them, as in his continued insistence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction before the US-led invasion.

"We discovered weapons manufacturing facilities that were condemned by the United Nations," Bush preached to reporters in a special interview prior to leaving on a tour of Europe and the Middle East.

Psst, George: No one believed it from the beginning. Give it a rest. Leave the lying to those who understand when it's safe to tell the truth again. Like Richard Nixon or Paul Wolfowitz.

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