October 6, 2003
"I see your president lied again," my Martian friend Yyuran said to me.
"What are you talking about now?" I said with a sigh. He was always ragging President Bush about something or another.
"He just admitted there is no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved in the 9/11 terrorist attacks after all."
"That can't be right," I said, "everybody knows Saddam was involved one way or another."
"Nearly 70 percent of your people believe that's true."
I smiled. "See?"
"The president says they don't know they're talking about."
I was confused. "But he always said Saddam was involved before."
"Well what then?"
Yyuran contorted his body into something resembling a twist tie, the Martian equivalent of a shrug, and said, "He never actually said Saddam was involved, he just linked 9/11 with Iraq every chance he got."
I was relieved. "So it was all a mistake. People jumped to conclusions."
Yyuran laughed, a sound resembling a pig being slaughtered by a chain saw. "You think that was an accident? Your president often spoke of Saddam and 9/11 in the same sentence, and terrorism and Iraq like they were the same word. He wanted people to jump to conclusions. In other words, he was lying by implication."
"That's a bit harsh," I said.
He ignored me. "Many of you also believe that most of the 9/11 hijackers were Iraqi." "Well," I said carefully, "not all of them, I know. I forget how many of them were."
"None of the men identified by the US authorities was from Iraq," he said, a bit smugly, I thought. He can be so infuriating.
"Whatever," I said, suddenly bored with it all. "It's not important."
"Just like the missing 'Weapons of Mass Destruction' you went to war over weren't important?"
He keeps harping on that. I don't even bother to argue with him any more.
"Where do you find this stuff anyhow?" I asked. "I don't think I saw anything on Fox about President Bush saying that Saddam wasn't connected with 9/11."
He brayed that infuriating laugh again. I wish I could give him a laughectomy. "Probably not. You wouldn't have seen much of it in most newspapers either. The New York Times buried it way inside in a tiny story. So did The Washington Post. The Wall Street Journal didn't even mention it."
"Because it's not important," I said again.
"It was one of the major justifications for the war. How can it be unimportant?" Before I could answer, he went on. "I see your president wants another 87 billion dollars for the war, on top of the 79 billion you've already spent. He didn't tell you much about the cost before you invaded."
That made me a bit uncomfortable. "He probably didn't know. Things were in worse shape than he figured."
Yyuran's eyes spun like wheels in a slot machine, a sign of mock exasperation, sort of like a sardonically lifted eyebrow. "Surely he and his advisors knew that after ten years of embargo, and an invasion that blew everything up, things would be in bad shape."
"I wish you wouldn't call it an invasion, we liberated the Iraqi people from a brutal dictator. And we didn't blow up more than we had to."
"Whatever," he said, mocking me. "Nevertheless, your president should have known how bad things were going to be, and what they would cost. The fact he didn't tell you means one of two things." He paused rather dramatically.
I should have known better, but I bit. "What?" I asked.
"Either he is a complete incompetent..." he paused
"or he lied."
· · · · · ·
Related Internal Links: The Yyuran Series
They Would Not Impeach Bush, Would They? (July 2003)
They Impeach Presidents, Don't They? (June 2003)
Landing A Campaign Visual (May 2003)
It's Just Good Business (Oct. 2002)
Untangling The Mideast For A Martian (July 2002)
The Wrong Stuff (May 2002)
We Are A Peaceful People (March 2002)
A Famous Victory (Jan. 2002)
Explaining Nukes to a Martian (Feb. 2001)
Iraq on Swans
Humor on Swans
Deck Deckert has spent nearly two decades as copy editor, wire editor and news editor at several metropolitan newspapers, including the Miami Herald and Miami News, before becoming a freelance writer. His articles and stories on everything from alligator farming to UFOs have appeared in numerous U.S. publications. He has written two young adult novels under a pen name, and co-authored a novel about the NATO war on Yugoslavia, Letters from the Fire, with Alma Hromic.
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