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"Mike and Jon, Jon and Mike—I've known them both for years, and, clearly, one of them is very funny. As for the other: truly one of the great hangers-on of our time."—Steve Bodow, head writer, The Daily Show
"Who can really judge what's funny? If humor is a subjective medium, then can there be something that is really and truly hilarious? Me. This book."—Daniel Handler, author, Adverbs, and personal representative of Lemony Snicket
"The good news: I thought Our Kampf was consistently hilarious. The bad news: I’m the guy who wrote Monkeybone."—Sam Hamm, screenwriter, Batman, Batman Returns, and Homecoming
February 02, 2006
I Wish THIS Was In "Why We Fight"
The new documentary Why We Fight features a retired New York City policeman and Vietnam veteran named Wilton Sekzer. It examines his turbulent emotions after his son Jason was killed at the World Trade Center on 9/11.
At first Sekzer just wants revenge, and he understands the Bush administration to be saying Iraq was somehow responsible. So not only does he support the Iraq war, he asks the Pentagon to write his son's name on a bomb. They do, and drop it east of Baghdad.
Obviously Sekzer wasn't alone in feeling this way about 9/11 and Iraq. Until recently, polls showed a majority of Americans believed Saddam Hussein was "personally involved" in the attacks.
Those possessing a cerebellum know this didn't happen by accident. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the White House Iraq Group ran focus groups to discover the most popular rationale for a war, and found it was an Iraq-9/11 connection.
Of course, they never (quite) came out and directly asserted there was such a connection. People would have asked for evidence. Instead, they repeatedly implied Saddam did it: "9/11...Saddam...terrorism...Iraq...Al Qaeda." They correctly assumed many AmericansÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Âparticularly those who don't parse every single word politicians say for fine shades of meaningÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Âwould make the connection themselves.
But what's gotten little attention is that, in 2004, a Bush official actually admitted this was a conscious strategy.
In other words:
(1) To put it concretely, they sat in their offices and figured out the best way to fool a retired New York City policeman gutted by grief for his dead son.
(2) They were so proud of their cleverness they couldn't help bragging about it to a reporter.
But what were the real reasons for going into Iraq? I'd asked a senior administration official.
There were two basic reasons, the official said. "One was to be rid of the Saddam Hussein regime"... The other was containment...
As it was, the administration took what looked like the path of least resistance in making its public case for the war: WMD and intelligence links with Al Qaeda. If the public read too much into those links and thought Saddam had a hand in September 11, so much the better.
As Why We Fight shows, Wilton Sekzer was stunned whenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Âmany months after the invasionÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬ÂGeorge Bush explicitly said there was no evidence Iraq was involved in 9/11. He felt duped and betrayed. And now not only is his son gone, so is any faith he had in the U.S. government.
But that's only bad from HIS point of our view! From the Bush administration perspective, if their marks fall for the con, so much the better.Posted at February 2, 2006 04:15 AM | TrackBack