Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Hypocrisy, the American way

A good column on the whole "we won, so who cares if we were lied to?" phenomena: `Now that wasn't so bad, was it?'' One of my pro-war acquaintances said this in a reassuring, not gloating, manner. His tone was a congenial gesture in the wake of our heated arguments over the Iraq War in recent weeks; we had remained tensely civil. I shrugged. Indeed, the shooting war in Iraq had -- from an American vantage point -- gone well. Relatively few casualties on our side; surviving Iraqis clearly pleased to be rid of Saddam Hussein, if wary of our presence. This summation, of course, ignores many unanswered questions. So I asked him one. ''Would it bother you if we were to discover that George Bush lied about the case for going to war?'' I asked. He knew what I was referring to. His blunt answer left my jaw hanging. ``Everyone knows he lied about weapons of mass destruction being the point of the war.'' Just a few weeks ago, any statement from me that Bush's case for war was riddled with inconsistencies and illogic would have brought swift and fierce condemnation from this fellow. Now, basking in the glow of military conquest -- and confronted by a thus-far futile search for chemical and biological weapons -- this hawk breezily conceded the point while also waving it away as inconsequential. Have we become a country that wears its hypocrisy openly and proudly?

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