Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Infamous Episodes in GOP History: Bush Jokes About Missing WMDs



The Iraq War is one of the great tragedies of human history. It has cost over 1.3 million Iraqi men, women and children their lives. It has led to the deaths of over 4,700 coalition forces. It has cost at least $3 trillion. And it has completely destroyed America's moral standing in the world.

But to George W. Bush, the Iraq War is nothing more than fodder for "humor."

In one of the most jaw-droppingly offensive performances by any U.S. politician in history, Bush laughed and joked about the missing WMDs in Iraq, during his March 24, 2004 appearance at the White House Correspondents Dinner.

Bush joked about the same non-existent WMDs that represented his case for taking the nation to war with Iraq.

Recall how in the 2002-2003 build-up to the invasion of Iraq, every other word out of Bush's mouth was "WMD."

Bush and the other chickenhawk NeoCons constantly did their best to make the case that Saddam had WMDs that posed a threat to America. The NeoCons in effect used WMDs as a club to beat over the head of anyone who dared question whether the U.S. was following a wise course in invading Iraq.

We Progressives never bought Bush's case for war. We tried to point out to anyone who would listen that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. We also tried to point out that Iraq was a small Third World nation with less than one-tenth of America's population, a nation with little industry.

Indeed, if Iraq did pose some sort of threat to America, we argued, then the question wasn't whether the U.S. should invade---instead it was this: exactly why isn't the Pentagon, with its trillion-dollar budgets, up to the job of protecting America? (Note that the U.S. spends more on its military than the rest of the world combined).

Indeed, many of us progressives rejected the very term, "Weapons of Mass Destruction." It was nothing more than a deliberately scary, propagandistic term, meant to frighten Americans into doing whatever the Bush/Cheney regime wanted. WMD was a term that belonged in a Marvel comic book, not in the real world.

And yet, in 2002, the corporate mainstream media obediently did Bush's bidding and worked hard to sell the upcoming Iraq War to the American people. There were a few exceptions (such as Knight Ridder's brilliant work that questioned Bush's case for war), but these were few and far between.

In short, our media failed the country---as it did so many times during Bush's eight disastrous years in office.

Which leads me to another point. If there's anything that was more chilling than Bush's "comedy" sketch, joking about the missing WMDs, it's this: the fact that the assembled media elites at the White House Correspondents Dinner were laughing heartily during Bush's performance.


Jack Jodell said...

Thank you for this reminder. It illustrates perfectly the supreme arrogance, cold-heartedness, ignorance, and stupidity of the worst President in our entire history. The man is a blatant war criminal and should be prosecuted as such in The Hague, along with Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, John Yoo, and that laughing fool Joe LIEberman, who was also in a very merry mood that evening.

You are right about the mainstream media having failed us miserably during the Bush era, and about its corporatist nature. That is why it continues to fail us today, too, and why it gives undeserving attention to teabaggers and the far right. It loves to present spectacle and conflict rather than substance, because the former two items are more profitable and can be easily exploited, and profit is the only thing that matters to those corporatists.

Marc McDonald said...

Hi Jack,
Thanks for stopping by and for your comment.
>>You are right about the
>>mainstream media having failed
>> us miserably during the Bush
>>era, and about its corporatist

I keep trying to explain this to people like my right-wing neighbor. He gets all his news from Fox, Drudge and Rush. Oh, and by the way, he had never even heard of this Bush/WMD "comedy" incident until I told him about it. Even he seemed taken aback and was speechless for once. (Normally, he vigorously springs to the defense of Bush on anything and everything).

deciminyan said...

Despite the crimes committed by Bush and his ilk, the sad fact is that the wars in the Middle East now belong to Barack Obama. Although I am a supporter, I'm disappointed in his inaction in bringing these foolish wars to a close. Here is what needs to be done to accelerate the withdrawal process.