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The Tentacle


August 26, 2005

Contradictions Abound

Wile E. Delaplaine

Wile E. Delaplaine and Roy Meachum

On the very day George W. Bush told a selected-through-tickets-Idaho audience that Iraqis were settling their differences through negotiations not shooting, Shiites were killing their fellow Shiites.

Such glaring contradictions prompted the dialogue we would like to share with TheTentacle.Com readers.

We are both equally offended by the president's continuing calls for sacrifice by troops and their families, while he enjoys a five week vacation. According to official accounts, he spends three hours a day exercising; otherwise he's engaged with naps, fishing and reading novels of his choice.

He likes to call himself a war president, but he seems blissfully unaware of the need for him to provide a model for the country by sacrificing his luxurious vacations. We might accept extenuating circumstances if the situation had been resolved in battleground states, Iran and Afghanistan. Of course, there's the matter of the serious nuclear threat posed by North Korea, but it's not in the current war zone.

Speaking of Afghanistan, we are depressed by escalating casualties and indications the Taliban is enjoying resurgence. Not incidentally, opium production is infinitely higher than when the fundamentalists were in control.

No one seems to want to force the president to address the blatantly obvious fact that our Iraq quagmire is increasing terrorists by the truckload. Before the invasion only a traceable handful was known. No one in the current administration is willing to acknowledge this obvious reality.

George W. Bush and company have demonstrated preference for fantasy, as exemplified in the latest energy bill. It does little for conservation, choosing instead to reward oil companies for gouging that has disrupted the economy. The bill gives the corporations millions in tax breaks while doing absolutely nothing to weaken our dependence on foreign supply.

Of course, there was the highly publicized ride on his $3,000 Trek mountain bike with all-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong. Aside from Mr. Armstrong's latest (and last) victory, their conversation apparently dwelt mostly on cancer. The championships came only after a successful fight against the disease.

While laudatory, Mr. Armstrong little needed presidential assistance promoting his campaign for increased research funds; the ride chiefly sought to upgrade the chief executive's image by association with the seven-time Tour winner. Cancer enabled Mr. Bush to put on a white hat for crusading on victims' behalf.

But the pair didn't touch upon the Iraq invasion, which Mr. Armstrong has opposed publicly. We could find that passing strange, except for knowledge of how these things work.

Presidential guests are customarily warned off topics that might give offense. Compliance was the price the champion must have paid for the hope of White House support for funding.

On the other hand, directly after the famous ride, Lance Armstrong once again stated his objections to the senseless war that has cost thousands of lives and disrupted the international oil supply.

Because of reaction to the invasion, the world's third largest (behind Saudi Arabia and Russia) petroleum fields have been limited to a trickle. The northern pipeline to Turkey has been apparently knocked out until peace descends upon the country. To the south, sabotage has again interrupted the flow. Is it any wonder gas prices have soared?

Of course, the bottom line on this so-called conservative administration is the bottom line. Even adjusted for inflation, the national deficit has climbed out of sight, compared to the amount created by past presidents. This generation's grandchildren will be paying off the costs of George W. Bush's tenure for generations to come.

We also question how it is that the political right can continually moan and complain about the left ruining this country when it is the right themselves who control all branches of government and this basically includes the Supreme Court. When will this hot air-filled credibility bubble finally burst?

In our dialogue, that was one question for which we could not come up with answers.



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