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Dec. 18 column - Clinton still lying

--- begin forwarded text

Resent-Date: Thu, 17 Dec 1998 20:49:17 -0700
Date: Thu, 17 Dec 1998 19:52:00 -0800 (PST)
To: [email protected]
From: [email protected] (Vin Suprynowicz)
Subject: Dec. 18 column - Clinton still lying
Resent-From: [email protected]
Resent-Sender: [email protected]
Status: U

    THE LIBERTARIAN, By Vin Suprynowicz
    There, he did it again

    So again, American missiles and planes are committed to a half-hearted,
just-to-make-a-point "war" in Iraq. (Does no one else recall that a
longer-haired Bill Clinton once protested a war in Vietnam because it was
not legally declared, and further because it was unwinnable, given that
Lyndon Johnson's policy of gradual escalation and "measured response"
turned out to be good for nothing but filling body bags?)

  And so the vast majority of Americans now shuffle into line, dispiritedly
rallying once again behind our fighting men and women, praying for their

  But Americans express this subdued support in spite of -- not because of
-- their faith that their current president would never lie.

  President Clinton will almost certainly be impeached by the House of
Representatives within days if not hours, for past lies and subversions of
justice aimed solely at protecting his own power, privilege and prestige.

 But surely matters of life and death, war and peace, are of such moment
that no president would subordinate them to any ongoing attempt to sidestep
justice ... right?

  In the final episode of the award-winning documentary series "The World
at War," a middle-aged German woman -- she had been a teen-ager in the
spring of 1945 -- recalls hiding in a Berlin basement as Russian shells
rained down overhead, listening with her mother to what was likely the
final radio broadcast by Nazi public relations chief Joseph Goebbels. When
Goebbels promised that the war would yet be won by secret weapons soon to
be unveiled by der Fuhrer, the teen-aged girl expressed disbelief. She was
then stunned when her mother slapped her, admonishing: "Do you think Herr
Goebbels would lie to us at a time like (start ital)this?(end ital)

  Mr. Clinton's crimes are on nowhere near the scale of those of the Nazis,
of course. (Though the relatives of the women and children his henchmen
killed at Waco might ask what difference the "scale" makes -- as now the
same question may occur to those dying in Iraq to prevent that sovereign
nation from stockpiling the same kinds of weapons the United States has
possessed for decades.)

  But isn't there a ghastly fastidiousness to the way this simpering
administration  insists it will not bomb during the Ramadan holiday so as
not to offend "Muslim sensibilities"? When George Patton's First Army was
racing to the relief of Bastogne, did the troops take a day off from
killing Germans on Dec. 25? If foreigners bombed your home and killed you
family, would you be less offended to have them do so on Dec. 22 than on
Christmas Day, or Yom Kippur?

  Do Mr. Clinton and his political advisors really understand what war
(start ital)is(end ital)?

  Meantime, the evidence mounts (it never seems to take long, anymore) that
Mr. Clinton did indeed lie again on Dec. 16, when he told the American
people that he decided on the timing of these latest bombings not to divert
attention from his own impending impeachment, but rather upon the specific
catalyst of receiving -- on Wednesday -- a final report from U.N. arms

  The Washington Times reported in a front page story Thursday that,
according to "authoritative sources," the White House notified the Joint
Chiefs of Staff that air strikes would be ordered this week on (start
ital)Sunday(end ital), "48 hours before he saw a United Nations report
declaring Iraq in noncompliance with weapons inspectors."

  Providing third-party corroboration, Israeli spokesman Aviv Bushinsky
said Wednesday that President Clinton discussed preparations for an attack
with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu just minutes before Mr.
Clinton flew home from Israel on (start ital)Tuesday(end ital).

  What does it matter, which day the president made the decision? It
doesn't , of course; it only matters if the president deliberately lied
about it, which then throws into question anything else he has said about
the real motives for these actions.

  The Times further quotes a "senior congressional source" reporting that
"White House eagerness to launch air strikes grew with intensity as a
parade of centrist Republicans announced they would vote to impeach the

  The credibility of the president (start ital)does(end ital) matter. The
ability of the public to have confidence that the man in the Oval Office
will put the faithful execution of his constitutional oath and duties ahead
of his personal ambition -- even his own political survival -- (start
ital)does(end ital) matter.

  Or are we willing to accept a world in which wars orchestrated by
television producers with the goal of improving "ratings points" turn out
not to be fiction, at all?

  (The second thing White House spokesmen did Dec. 16 -- after announcing
the latest raids on Iraq -- was to deny this was "a Wag the Dog scenario,"
referring to the reason cult comedy in which a hypothetical president
arranges a fake Balkan war to keep a sex scandal off the front pages.)

  For all his failings, can anyone imagine Franklin Roosevelt troubling
himself to deny that the D-Day landings of 1944 were staged as a mere
political stunt, to "make him look more presidential"?

  Mind you, I wish more Americans would start ridiculing the absurd
assumption that we need the federal government to hold our hands and change
our diapers, cradle to grave. The best remedy for the pretensions of many
of these arrogant bureaucrats to run our lives is indeed to laugh them out
of town.

  I just never expected to see the United States of America turned so
quickly into an impotent laughing stock, and from the top down.

Vin Suprynowicz is the assistant editorial page editor of the Las Vegas
Review-Journal. Readers may contact him via e-mail at [email protected]


Vin Suprynowicz,   [email protected]

The evils of tyranny are rarely seen but by him who resists it. -- John
Hay, 1872

The most difficult struggle of all is the one within ourselves. Let us not
get accustomed and adjusted to these conditions. The one who adjusts ceases
to discriminate between good and evil.  He becomes a slave in body and
soul. Whatever may happen to you, remember always: Don't adjust! Revolt
against the reality! -- Mordechai Anielewicz, Warsaw, 1943

* * *

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Robert A. Hettinga <mailto: [email protected]>
Philodox Financial Technology Evangelism <http://www.philodox.com/>
44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'