Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Cheney in the Twilight Zone:

Here is a story that is just weird. The White House insisted that a press briefing given by Vice President Cheney not name him as the source of the briefing. That would be odd enough, but the Vice President commenced to refer to actions he had taken during his trip, and to himself in the first person, making the entire affair seem like an episode from the Twilight Zone. The only thing lacking was a monkey tearing up the wing of Air Force Two... hey wait a minute! Air Force Two did experience technical difficulties **cue Twilight Zone music-dudu dudu-** during this trip.

So we have Vice President Cheney anonymously briefing the press and saying stuff like:
The reason the president wanted me to come, obviously, is because of the continuing threat that exists in this part of the world on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistan border
Let me just make one editorial comment here. I’ve seen some press reporting (that) says, ‘Cheney went in to beat up on them, threaten them.’ That’s not the way I work
How is a reporter supposed to present this if they have to keep the source anonymous? And why would Cheney not just give an on the record press briefing? Well considering his recent meltdown during his interview with Wolf Blitzer, I suppose keeping him off the record is the best policy actually.

In a final touch of Twilight Zone like oddity, the Vice President says this:
“But Musharraf, of course, has been the target of assassination attempts,” the official said. “He’s been closely allied with us going after al-Qaida. And, again, you’ve got people who, in effect, are betting the farm, so to speak, that they can count on the United States to be there, and to support them, and in many cases provide the leadership necessary to prevail in this global conflict with these extreme elements of Islam. And it would be difficult to sustain that conviction on their part if the United States were to suddenly decide that the problems in Iraq are too tough, we’re going to pack it in and go home. So there are consequences in this part of the world for a course of action that some people are advocating in the U.S.”
To paraphrase Cheney, staying in Iraq is showing our ally Musharraf that we are there for him. He even uses the term in this context "betting the farm". Again, let us cue the Twilight Zone music, because what Cheney says here is quite simply bizarre, considering Musharraf's own position on the invasion and occupation of Iraq. From the summer of 2002, nine months before the invasion:
The President of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, has said a United States attack on Iraq would "alienate the Muslim world".
General Musharraf warned that such a step would have "very negative repercussions".
Here is Musharraf in April of 2004, barely a year into the occupation:
Asked if the US-led Iraq war has been a distraction from the battle against Al-Qaeda and Taliban remnants by diverting resources from Afghanistan and Pakistan, Musharraf replied: "Yes indeed".
In fact, here is Musharraf, virtually begging the Americans to get an exit strategy and depart Iraq!:
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf tells Newsweek that the visibility of any foreign troops in Iraq-whether American or British-is not at all welcome. "Nobody likes [to be occupied by] foreign troops. The answer lies not in bringing in more foreign troops but in raising the army in Iraq itself so it can take over security. Everything should lead to an exit strategy."
So who do we believe when it comes to how Musharraf would view an American withdrawal from Iraq? Vice President **cue the dudu dudu music** Cheney? Or Musharraf himself? I suppose the answer for most people to that question is perfectly obvious, but just remember this my friends. There is a base segment of the American population who think that Cheney is making a valid point, not based upon any knowledge of actual facts, but based solely upon logic that it is true because Cheney said so.

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