Golly gee. Who’d have ever thought that a few hundred tons of weapons gone missing in some Middle Eastern nation-state would have such an effect on the waning days of the race for the White House? Certainly not the American military unit that apparently wasn’t told to search the weapons-storage facility from which these munitions were presumably taken. Realistically, if their bosses had known there were weapons floating around Iraq, they’d have been on high alert over this sort of thing, right?
From “Spokesman: Unit Didn’t Search Al-Qaqaa”, Associated Press, October 27, 2004:
The Kerry campaign called the disappearance the latest in a “tragic series of blunders” by the Bush administration in Iraq.
Vice President Dick Cheney raised the possibility the explosives disappeared before U.S. soldiers could secure the site, and he complained that Kerry does not mention the “400,000 tons of weapons and explosives that our troops have captured.”
OK, there you go. This is how war works, and politics, too. It’s that classic Cheney tactic: accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative. To wit, regarding the administration’s now-very-clearly-fucked-up invasion of Iraq, the Vice President said in June:
“After decades of rule by a brutal dictator, Iraq has been returned to its rightful owners, the people of Iraq,” Cheney said in a speech in New Orleans, which made the case that Bush had reversed a terrorist threat that grew unchecked before he came to office. “America is safer, and the world is more secure, because Iraq and Afghanistan are now partners in the struggle against terror, instead of sanctuaries for terrorist networks.”
You see how that works? He plays up the good things that have come from the invasion and overthrow of Iraq and Afghanistan, and doesn’t act like a certain senator from a certain state in the Northeast might, by focusing on, say, the fact that 3,000 Americans died three years ago, or that well more than a thousand American soldiers have died in military action since then, or that much more than ten thousand Iraqis and Afghans have perished at the hands of American weaponry in that interim…see, that’s meaningless, folks.
Because at the end of the day, those hundreds of millions of Americans who don’t fall into those “irrelevant” categories of deaths detailed above are, of course, safer. It’s about positivity. Optimism. And that’s the Cheney way.
At least I think that’s how it works. Though I’m probably overlooking something. I can just feel it…
Oh, shit, I’ve got it! This, right here!
“The biggest threat we face now as a nation,” he said, “is the possibility of terrorists’ ending up in the middle of one of our cities with deadlier weapons than have ever before been used against us – biological agents or a nuclear weapon or a chemical weapon of some kind – to be able to threaten the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans.”
“You have to get your mind around that concept,” he added.
You go, Dick! For a few fleeting moments up there I’d somehow managed to convince myself that you’d gone all Disney, all “hakuna matata” and “circle of life” and shit, but thanks for grounding us in the bare necessities: Vote or die.