Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Blinded by their own lies

Sometimes I wonder what the warmongers really think. Do they know that they are lying? or do they really believe what they tell people? i.e. do they drink their own Kool-Aid? Profoundly ignorant people are often willfully ignorant. They believe things based on ideology (faith) and actively resist evidence and reason. I have written before about right-wingers' lack of empathy and wonder about the correlation between this lack of empathy and blindness to the plights of others. Do they know that others are suffering and not care, or are they really blind (and therefore indifferent) to the suffering?

Glenn Greenwald has written a piece about Rep. Mike Pence, who accompanied John McCain on his Freedom Stroll in the Baghdad market. Pence is (in)famous (Glenn quotes many of his most egregious pronouncements in his article) for his war boosterism including having claimed that WMDs have been found in Iraq. He recently expounded on how safe Baghdad was, declaring that it was "like a normal outdoor market in Indiana in the summertime." He also gushed about his happy rug vendor:
The merchant almost refused to take my money. He kept touching his heart and shaking his head no. His eyes, like so many others, radiated with affection and appreciation. He wanted to give me the rugs. I insisted that he accept my ten dollars and, happily, he relented.
This was the story that made me write this post. How could anyone believe this, knowing what we know about the Iraqi invasion and occupation, the years of horribly violent chaos and then the security sweep in the market immediately before, and massive security during, the photo-op. How could anyone possibly believe what Pence said? Could Pence himself have really believed this? In his own distorted way, did Pence really see "affection and appreciation"? In other words, is he suffering from Kool-Aid induced blindness or is he just a brazen liar? I really don't know but, either way, there is little doubt that what Pence said was completely wrong.

From NPR's report -- audio here:
Across town is Shorja market, where a U.S. Congressional delegation, led by U.S. Sen. John McCain, visited on Sunday under extremely heavy security. People were blocked from entering the market while the lawmakers were there. Helicopters whirled overhead, and there were at least 100 soldiers accompanying the delegation.

Rep. Mike Pence was so impressed by the visit, though, he compared Shorja to a summer market in his home state of Indiaina: "One gentleman tried to refuse our money when we were purchasing rugs - he kept touching his heart - said thank you, no, no - I was deeply moved."

NPR went to Baghdad's Shorja market after the visit, and spoke with the carpet seller, Ahmed al Krudi: "I didn't accept the money. I said to myself, they must be guests, so I must give them a good impression of Iraqis. After all, we are occuped by these Americans, and they are accompanied by a lot of U.S. security."

Al Krudi says he is angry at the insurgents who bombed the market in February, killing dozens, but he doesn't like the American presence here either:

We are not against the resistance. We are with them. However, the resistance must fight the occupiers, not the Iraqi people. A huge number of U.S. forces came yesterday. Why didn't they shoot at them, instead of harming us?
Truly, blinded by lies...


Blogger liberal journal man said...

The truth is, Iraq is a tropical paradise. Crime is at an all time low and tourism is at an all time high. The average Iraqi has full health benefits while working 2 hours a day. It's like a big field of dandelions lined with bubble gum and lollipops.

1:28 AM  
Blogger Bill said...

Really...? Wow!

I saw it in writing so I know that it's true. So I'd better start spreading the word. Thanks for the good news, LJM.

8:21 PM  
Blogger liberal journal man said...

McCain said he misspoke. What he meant to say was Iraq is like Disneyland.

8:44 PM  

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