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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Semper Paratis 

Heckuva hubbub in blogworld today over Philip Weiss's belated discovery of the following disclaimer in an 18-month-old book by Kenneth Pollack, the pseudo-liberal warhawk who hornswoggled Josh Marshall, among others, into supporting the invasion of Iraq:
I just got a copy of Ken Pollack's latest book on Iran, The Persian Puzzle, and was shocked on flipping to page 429, the Author's Note at the end of the book, to read that Pollack has never been to Iran and doesn't speak Persian, has only dribs and drabs of Arabic . . . .

As a scholar at the liberal Brookings Institution, whatever liberal means these days, he advocated invasion of Iraq in the book The Threatening Storm, back in 2002, thereby giving crucial centrist support to the neocons. Pollack argued that the way to peace in the Middle East lay through Baghdad. I.e., convert the Arabs to democracy there and everything else will fall into place. That book begins with Pollack's bona fides: he was in the CIA "on the Iran-Iraq account." Now we know he's never been to Iran. Has he ever been to Iraq?
It is, naturally, a source of great concern to us that confessed ignoramuses are able to pose as experts and influence the public debate on matters of foreign policy. It is a source of considerably greater concern that even worse ignoramuses are able to win control of the government, make up bad foreign policy and implement it.

But boy oh boy, the old concern-o-meter practically blows a gasket when we reflect on the fact that certain of the dab policy hands who are now scripting Iraq II: This Time It's Nuclear are also certifiably stark staring bugfuck. From a forthcoming article in Vanity Fair:
Purdum reports that Cheney travels with a chemical-biological suit at all times. When he gave his friend Robin West and his twin children a ride to the White House a couple of years ago, West commented on the fact that Cheney’s motorcade varied its daily path. “And he said, ‘Yeah, we take different routes so that “The Jackal” can’t get me,’” West tells Purdum. “And then there was this big duffel bag in the middle of the backseat, and I said, ‘What’s that? It’s not very roomy in here.’ And [Cheney] said, ‘No, because it’s a chemical-biological suit,’ and he looked at it and said, ‘Robin, there’s only one. You lose.’”
Mr. Cheney, as we never tire of pointing out, has spent a fair portion of his adult life kitting out the subterranean bunker in which he plans to outlast Civilization As We Know It. (As astute commenter Mercury put it, Cheney has spent so much time preparing for apocalypse that must have the "worst case of blue balls in the history of the world.")

Show of hands, please: who wants to be led into war -- who wants to be led anywhere -- by a man who is so plainly jonesing for Armageddon?

PHOTO: Vice President Dick "Dress Left" Cheney models his radiation-proof titanium jockstrap.

(Thanks to Zemblan patriot K.Z. for the link.)

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