The Last Ditch -- Henry Gallagher Fields -- "WE'UNS WUZ ATTAKKED!"


"We'uns wuz attakked!"
Stupidity and political success



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You'd think madcap duncery wouldn't work, but it does. Dimwitted Dubya says the nuttiest things and somehow gets away with it; at least, he has so far. Moreover, he doesn't have to strain to be stupid; he's a natural. What we have to realize is that his cranial vacancy is what gives him his political value. Bush and his trainers routinely transfigure stupidity into political success.

No one with half a brain could even bring himself to utter the total falsehoods that President Knucklehead blabbers forth so fluently. More intellectually advanced specimens of homo sapiens (including the Bush trainers) instinctively rely on spin and casuistry in their efforts to disinform the populace. The trouble is that those techniques don't impress either the mentally challenged, who are baffled by complexity, or the more intelligent minority, who snort at nonsense when it's declaimed by a cunning charlatan but smile tolerantly when it's blurted by a mental incompetent.

Speaking of Dubya, there he was again, in his Saturday radio address for June 18, trying to counteract the plummeting public support for the war, which has dipped so far below 50 percent that even Congressman Walter "Freedom Fries" Jones has come forth to claim that he was initially tricked about the need for war and that America should now pull out of Iraq.

What incisive reasoning did President Loonybird offer to justify his war? Eschewing anything tainted with the slightest scintilla of complexity, Dubya straightforwardly asserted: "We went to war because we were attacked." Attacked! Yes! But attacked by whom? Someone should clue Dubya in that it was al Qaeda, not Iraq, that's been officially blamed for the 9/11 atrocities. If it's not too inconvenient to mention this, Dubya himself blamed al Qaeda. Remember that Osama bin Laden fellow we used to hear so much about? "Dead or alive," Marshal Bush once bellowed, as he rounded up his posse. Well, Osama's still alive, but about 100,000 other people are dead as doornails as a result of America's wars in the Middle East. Ah, never mind, I suppose we shouldn't expect this pickle-brained president to have a memory that stretches back more than a week.

While Bush's lefty critics incessantly castigate him as a liar, it is not clear whether "explanations" such as 'Cuz we were attacked technically rise to the level of a lie. To qualify as a good lie, a statement should be at least remotely believable, not patently ridiculous. What the august leader of the Free World asserted here instead puts old H.G. in mind of a little 4-year-old Georgie — his cheeks bulging out, snickerdoodle fragments protruding from his mouth, and crumbs falling down his shirt — burbling in the negative to his mother's query whether he pilfered a forbidden treat from the cookie jar.

As I've already suggested, there's really no mystery why Dubya's handlers allowed him to emit such an incredible howler. His moronic howler emissions do the trick! Remember the story about Saddam's armada of unmanned aerial vehicles that were going to buzz all the way over to the United States and spray poison gas on our cities? Seems Dubya got away with that one, no prob. No one's been demanding to know the location of the secret base where Saddam stored all those UAVs — Fort Shangri-la? — even though we might find the rest of his long-lost WMDs there, too. In any event, there's no need for the Bush Team to alter a winning strategy. "You Gotta Dance with Them What Brung You," as the old football adage puts it. And if the run off-tackle advances your squad to the Rose Bowl, there's no reason to switch to long passes for the big game.

Back to Dubya's radio address: "Some may disagree with my decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power, but all of us can agree that the world's terrorists have now made Iraq a central front in the war on terror." And ... that proves the Bush decision was correct ...? If normal modes of thought were in play here, we'd have to ask whether Bush was arguing for himself or against himself.

If Iraq has become a "central front in the war on terror," it's only because the United States attacked and occupied that country. Odd as it may seem to Dubya, people, even brown-skinned foreign folk, generally don't like to have their homelands occupied by foreign armies. They don't like to see their friends, family, and countrymen killed, maimed, and locked up by the tens of thousands. They don't like to see their cities destroyed. Doing such things, even if under the aegis of !!!DEMOCRACY!!!, can actually breed anti-American terrorism. Let us imagine der Führer giving a Saturday radio address of his own after the Warsaw uprising of 1944: "Not all of my fellow Germans may have agreed with my decision to invade Poland in 1939, but now the vicious hatred felt by the Poles for the great German Reich has become apparent to all. It must immediately be stamped out ('ausrotten')!"

Our own Leader, again: "These foreign terrorists violently oppose the rise of a free and democratic Iraq, because they know that when we replace despair and hatred with liberty and hope, they lose their recruiting grounds for terror." But if a "free and democratic Iraq" would mean the loss of "recruiting grounds for terror," the fact that Iraq has become and is now the "central front in the war on terror" suggests that the present U.S.-installed government must be the very antithesis of freedom and democracy.

Then President Nincompoop offered the clincher: "Our troops are fighting these terrorists in Iraq so you will not have to face them here at home." Let's call a stop right here to analyze the ever-transmuting Bushite war logic and show its implications. First, the United States had to attack Iraq to prevent Saddam from using his (non-existent) WMDs against America. The American sheeple were assured that the attack would be a "cakewalk," with the Iraqi people strewing flowers to welcome their American liberators. Now Dubya's saying that the very fact of an Iraqi resistance, which is blowing American soldiers to smithereens on a daily basis, is actually a positive sign, since otherwise those same terrorists would be invading America. "Hey, Maude," we must imagine a typical Bushified listener exclaiming, "if we don't blow 'em up in that there Fallujah, them Fallujans will be blowin' us up in downtown Kokomo!"

One need not be a protégé of Sir Karl Popper to recognize the fallacy here. No matter what the actual situation on the ground might be, the war agenda would somehow be justified. Presumably, if the Iraqi resistance killed every last American GI, the Bush administration would claim that this clearly illustrated the lethal danger of the Islamic terrorists and required the immediate nuking of the entire Middle East, sans one small country (the one referred to by a French official as "that sh---y little country"). Of course, if the United States continues killing people throughout the Middle East, the vengeance of their survivors might in the end truly reach places such as Kokomo.

Presumably Dubya's handlers believe that a significant segment of the American people are brain-dead enough to fall for the man's nonsense and keep falling for it. Lots of them have fallen for it or at least pretended to. But when even "Freedom Fries" Jones, hailing from what's been described as the most militaristic congressional district in the country, turns against the Bush war policy, maybe there are grounds for hope. Maybe there's a chance that other Congressfolk will follow Jones's example, especially if enough of their constituents jolt themselves awake (from their two-and-a-half-year nap) and realize that they've been had.

See, while Bush chatters and chitters away, doing his best to stupefy with stupidity, those cunning charlatans are still visible behind him, shuffling cards and moving peanut shells. That may be a problem for this particular tent show. We might-could have ourselves a situation like the time the city-slicker snake-oil salesman unloaded the fifty cases of magic elixir — garnteed to cure whatever ails ye — on the good folks of Pumpkin Gap; conned the mortgage money from the mayor and sheriff in his little "can't-lose" shell game; and, to top it off, seduced the parson's teenage daughter Nell. Ooops! Somewhere in there our slicker went a scam too far, one too many even for those good-hearted, trusting Pumpkin Gap folk, and he had to skedaddle if he didn't want to be guest of honor at an old-fashioned necktie party. And he dared not return to Pumpkin Gap to peddle his wares for six whole months!

Why, this one would be even better. Unlike the snake-oil salesman, the Bushies and their neocon cronies wouldn't have anywhere to skedaddle off to ...

Yes, it's a pleasant prospect, and the image of torches and pitchforks warms my heart, cockles and all; but just to show you that old H.G. hasn't undergone a conversion to optimism (endangering his coveted spot on the TLD Gloom Team), it is necessary to add the following caveat.

It is apparent that the neocons now have their sights set on Iran. American warplanes and special forces have been violating Iranian territory for months. Maybe the Iranian mullahs — not quite as spineless as Saddam, who tolerated continual American provocations for years — can be gulled into defending their country against the American acts of war. Then, with an incident given the proper spin, the United States could hammer Iran, and all thoughts of the Iraq debacle would be forgotten. And when, sometime down the road, President Dope was asked why American forces blitzed Iran, he could simply respond: "We'uns wuz attakked!"

There you have it. Stupidity as sheer political genius.

June 29, 2005

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