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Thursday, March 16, 2006

  • 4:59 AM
Some will tell you that the sudden, seemingly inexplicable rush to war with Iraq is nothing more or less than a ruse to get economic scandals off the front pages and out of the nightly news cycles. July was a catastrophically bad month for the Bush administration. Every time George spoke on camera, the Dow Jones would melt through the floorboards. The shady, patently illegal dealings of his old company, Harken, were a regular topic for the news talk shows.

His Vice President had gone into hiding to avoid subpoenas that would compel him to spill the beans about another criminal enterprise, Halliburton, as well as the ways and means of the back-room corporate dealings that led to the Bush administration's energy plan. Hovering over it all like the raven was Enron, and all the winding financial roads that led from Ken Lay to the Oval Office.

If it was and is all a ruse, it has worked masterfully. The coming mid-term elections, which had appeared this summer to portend a fantastic wipeout at the polls for the Republican Party because of all the economic uncertainty, now will likely be all about Iraq and patriotism. This change in the conversation has been aided and abetted by the media, which would vastly prefer to report on war while broadcasting grainy green images of explosions far away.

The economic stuff was boring and depressing, and people were switching it all off because it was too much to bear. This change was also aided by Congressional Democrats who forgot all too easily about Enron and Harken, thus allowing Bush and his people to frame the conversation in much more comfortable terms. It is all a smokescreen, and there will be no war.
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