George, who are you listening to?

What did you learn in school today, dear little boy of mine?
I learned that our government must be strong
It's always right and never wrong
Our leaders are the finest men
So we elect them again and again
And that's what I learned in school today
That's what I learned in school.

What Did You Learn in School Today by Tom Paxton 

Gary Younge has written a well-argued piece in today’s edition of The Guardian showing how the Bush administration is planning an attack on Iran by using very similar justifications as the now-discredited ones it used to go into Iraq.

George Bush is a man of conviction and clearly a hard man to change. When reality confronts his plans he does not alter them but instead alters his understanding of reality..

And so we watch the administration’s plans for a military attack against Iran unfold even as its official narrative for the run-up to the war in Iraq unravels and the wisdom of that war stands condemned by death and destruction. As though on split screens, we pass seamlessly from reports of how they lied to get us into the last war, to scenes of carnage as a result of the war, to shots of them lying us into the next one.

One moment we see the trial of Dick Cheney’s former deputy, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, revealing how the administration sought to discredit critics of the plans to invade Iraq; the next we see them discrediting critics of their plans to attack Iran. On one page, newly released documents reveal how the defence department contorted evidence to justify bombing Baghdad; on the next, the administration is using suspect evidence to justify bombing Iran.

“It is absolutely parallel,” Philip Giraldi, a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist, told Vanity Fair magazine. “They’re using the same dance steps – demonise the bad guys, the pretext of diplomacy, keep out of negotiations, use proxies. It is
Iraq redux.”

The chances that Younge is far off the mark are rather remote. Bush has got to the stage that he really is beginning to listen only to the voices of  those who agree with him, or, more worryingly, the voices inside his befuddled head.


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