Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Well, What Do You Know?

A couple of days ago I mentioned the topic of "Faith in Politics," more specifically the foolishness of asking any political figure at any time, "How does your faith guide you?"

Well today, yet again, we've been handed a frightening example of the dangerous way in which "faith" guides our idiot president.

Yesterday a declassified summary of the government's latest National Intelligence Estimate was released to the public; it states that -- and stop me if you've heard this one before -- we got it all wrong when it came to our alarmist theories about the imminent threat from an Iranian nuclear weapons program.

Never one to be deterred by the facts presented to him by his own people, President Bush immediately called a press conference to essentially plug his fingers in his ears and go "LA LA LA LA LA NOT LISTENING LA LA LA LA." For months now he and his delusional, lunatic Vice President have steadily increased the drumbeat heralding yet another potential war in the Middle-East, this time with Iran.

His predictably -- stupidly -- stubborn assertion now that he's been told that at the present time there's absolutely no evidence of a burgeoning Iranian nuclear threat?

It can be summed up in one mind-boggling sentence: Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it isn't there.

This is of course the kind of response you'd expect from a petulant six-year-old.

It's also the kind of willful proclamation of faith that's the accepted stock-and-trade of an entire Fundamentalist belief system. No wonder the Hardcore Jesus Folks love Bush so much.

What it highlights however is the danger inherent, even for a moment, in suspending the evidentiary burden of proof -- the one that all but the most irrational individual tends to apply in making 99% of his or her daily decisions. If you're willing to believe something as seemingly imperative as the demands of a supreme being without a shred of actual proof, then why shouldn't you also be willing to buy into something as insignificant -- in a relative sense -- as the idea that Iran has an invisible nuclear weapons program?

By that skewed standard, any leap of logic makes perfect sense.

Make no mistake, I have no doubt whatsoever that Iran can't be trusted. Unfortunately, so far our president has proven that he can't be.

And right now that proof will have to make the difference.

(I've chosen to gloss over the intricacies -- and there are so many -- of just how this all went down and what a major blow this report is to the sliver of worldwide credibility this administration has left. You can see a couple of takes on the infuriating details here and here. I also confess that I'm giving Bush the benefit of the doubt in suggesting that he truly believes that Iran is a threat; the more cynical and at this point even likely possibility is that he doesn't care one way or the other -- that he's simply seeking the same thing he and his Neo-Con pals always have: A war without end.)


Vermillion said...

Funnily enough, I saw an episode of "The Outer Limits" (circa 1996) this weekend that dealt with this very idea. It was about this scientist that predicted his entire colony was going to be wiped out by a solar flare or something. All his simulations showed it would happen, but nobody believed him because he made a similar prediction that didn't come to pass.

Instead, the religious/political leaders decided to frame him as an alien spy trying to kill the humans there. In the end, the panicky colonists killed him, only to be subsequently wiped out by the predicted threat. But not before one of the leaders they so desperately trusted revealed himself to be the very alien force they believe the innocent scientist was. Oh, and the aliens survived the cataclysm and took the surviving ships and weapons of the dead humans as their own.

I hope I don't have to point out the parallels. Maybe if they showed this instead of "High Noon" in the presidential screening room...what am I saying? That would be ridiculous.

Or would it...?

VOTAR said...

He doesn't want a war without end...he wants to hasten The Rapture. He needs to find some way in the next thirteen months to coerce two million Iranian and Russian troops to the border of Israel, so Jesus can descend from the clouds on a white horse and take him and Mike Huckabee and 143,998 of their closest friends up into the clouds.

But seriously folks... I've watched the news throughout the day with a mixture of sadness, anger, frustration, resignation, and what would be disbelief -- if in fact all this were not so predictable and familiar already. You know that moment when the acid sets in, and you find yourself just sitting there in the corner laughing at how absurd it would be to try to explain to anyone just what you are laughing about? The futility, the sense of helplessness, that feeds on itself... you remember that, hmm?

At this point there are only three possibilities:

1. Our president is even more incompetent than we can fathom.
Solution (under normal circumstances): impeachment... or a coup. Neither seem likely at this point.

2. Our president is kept ignorant by an intelligence infrastructure that deliberately hides and/or manipulates information with the intent of fooling everyone, INCLUDING HIM.

3. Our president is simply lying indiscriminately, because he is incapable of regarding the citizens of America -- much less the other 5.5 billion humans on this planet -- with anything beyond contemptuous disinterest.

Either way, we are all fucked. And honestly, at this point, if there is anyone left who STILL doesn't see this for what it really is... if you are not finally FURIOUS AND TERRIFIED AND SICKENED by what you see your own government doing to endanger your life and that of everyone you know, start praying to your invisible deity, because, seriously, god help us all.

Chez said...

If you believe the conspiratorial idiocy of Norman Podhoretz (the Godfather of the Neo-Con movement, should you need a direction in which to throw that big-ass rock in your hand) it's #2.

Yesterday he went off on a hilarious (read: terrifying) Lyndon Larouchean rant about how the CIA is purposely keeping evidence from Bush in an effort to make him look stupid.

I just re-read the last eight words of that sentence and literally laughed out loud by the way.