By Molly Ivins
AUSTIN, Texas—Personally, I think this is a really good time not to keep up. The more you try, the less sense it makes, although getting us used to having it all make no sense at all may be an extremely sneaky Karl Rove ploy to justify the war in Iraq. Hard to say.
The latest development to which the only appropriate response is “Huh” is the news that the “mobile weapons labs” introduced to us by President Bush before the war as conclusive evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq were not evidence—conclusive or otherwise—of WMD and were not, in fact, mobile weapons labs.
The only thing new here is the news that George W. Bush probably knew a couple of days before he talked about them in public that the Defense Intelligence Agency had found they were not mobile weapons labs.
OK, given everything we already know about the lies before the war, this is not particularly startling—although I do think it’s long past time we stopped referring to the campaign of disinformation and false information that we were fed as anything but lies. No, the startling and funny part of the “mobile weapons lab” lie is the administration’s defense of it, which is so batty it’s an instant classic.
According to White House spokesman Scott McClellan, the DIA report debunking the “weapons labs” is “a complex intelligence white paper and it’s ... one derived from highly classified information (and) takes a substantial amount of time to coordinate and to run through a declassification process.”
If I understand what McClellan is saying, Bush leaked bad information from a classified intelligence report because there wasn’t enough time for the contradictory DIA report to go through a declassification process. All of which would make more sense if we hadn’t just gone through this Valerie Plame episode, in which the White House says if the president leaked it, then it’s legal to leak it. No problem, the president can declassify at will, they said. I don’t know about you, but none of it is becoming clearer for me. Does anyone understand yet why we had to bomb Iran?
Meanwhile, Congress can’t figure out how to do a deal on immigration. I’d like to stick my two cents in here to say the reason that deal fell apart and the reason it won’t come back together is because of American business, which hires the illegals and donates the campaign money. Bless your sweet heart if you think the deal came unglued over the Republicans ignoring their base or some other political problem. Money, my friends, talks, and bull walks. Look at who wants illegal workers here. Look at who controls Congress.
Courtesy of the Daou Report on salon.com, I found this item on a blog called The Shape of Days, about the recent demonstrations: “There’s really no other way to say it: Being here is weird. To be surrounded by a crowd of thousands of people, all of whom look alike, none of whom look like me, many of whom are decorated with our flag, none of whom are speaking our language, on our national Mall ... it’s a surreal experience. Despite my best judgment and best intentions, I feel the inklings of xenophobia bubbling up inside. This place isn’t for me; I don’t belong here. It’s time to go.”
I suppose this citizen deserves credit for honesty, but I’m so much more amazed by his or her provincialism. I feel one of those rants about suburbia coming on. Never been in a public place before surrounded by people who speak a different language and look different from you? Can you live in a city and not have experienced that?
I was high just from seeing them all—500,000 in Dallas! Of course, most of us know the immigrants are there—it’s just so interesting to see them en masse. If you’ve ever wondered what this country would be like without illegal workers, now you’ve got the answer. It would come to a halt.
Let me point out again, I don’t have a dog in this fight. There are just some things I know from living in Texas all my life. One is, don’t bother to build a fence. Two is, if you want to stop illegal immigrants, stop the people who hire them—quit punishing people who come because there are jobs. Three, this border has always been porous, and it has always worked to the advantage of the United States.
If you want to do the smart thing and look for a long-term solution, try fixing NAFTA and helping with economic development in Mexico. Meanwhile, I could do without the drivel about how these people are so different. Of course they’re not. Try getting out a little more.