Yesterday, at Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a lone courageous protester held up a small sign with two simple words: "Old Lies." Capitol Hill police dragged him out of the room while he yelled a little truth at power. Condi might hold a doctorate in "International Studies" from the University of Denver, but her real specialty is prevaricating and dissembling.
I was happy to see Senator Barbara Boxer call Condi on her exasperating lies, which made Dr. Rice defensive and glowering. Boxer had not supported the war in the first place, even when her posturing colleagues like Joe Biden, John Kerry, and Hillary Clinton had signed on to Bush's illegal preemptive invasion. Boxer even produced a placard with one of Condi's many lies from October 2005:
"I have no doubt as the Iraqi security forces get better -- and they are getting better, and are holding territory, and they are doing these things with minimal help -- that we are going to be able to bring down the levels of our forces, I have no doubt that that's going to happen in a reasonable timeframe."
But Condi has that rare ability to look at her own past words displayed before her eyes in two-inch type and deconstruct them into post-modern ether. Perhaps she should have majored in Comparative Literature at Denver U, (the world might have been spared some of the present turmoil and bloodshed).
During the hearings, Chairman Biden deserves a little credit for pausing for a moment from listening to his own voice (which he clearly loves) to clarify to Condi that if Bush attacks Iran the President will need a new War Powers Resolution from Congress. We will soon find out whether our Commander-in-Chief will continue to rule above the law and with an iron fist, or if he will finally develop the capacity to learn something new, like we live in a democracy not a dictatorship.
Condi told "Old Lies" but the Senators shied away from asking her about the "Big Lie." The "Big Lie" is the pretense that the Bush Administration is attempting to establish a "stable democracy" in Iraq that will be a "sovereign" state. Al-Maliki asked Bush not to send in more troops. The reality is that the Bush Administration has no intention of pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq. The huge U.S. Air Base at Balad, which is as big as O'Hare International Airport, is testimony to the permanent nature of the occupation. (Condi never once mentioned the idea of a "troop withdrawal" or the "redeployment of American forces.")
All along the goal of Bush's Iraq policy has been to militarily assert United States hegemony over the vital oil-producing region. The invasion was part of the "Great Game"; the geo-strategic control of oil. It was an ugly imperialist bid to be in command of a key source of oil for potential rivals such as China and India. The secondary goal was to line the pockets of Vice-President Dick Cheney's friends at Halliburton and other GOP-connected corporations. And it was also part of a neo-con wet dream to eliminate a regime that was hostile to Israel.
Until our political leaders start exploring the true motives behind this catastrophe, they will never understand the real reasons why the Iraqis have "irrationally" rejected the "democracy" that Generalissimo Bush has bestowed upon them.