The Emperor has no clothes

Category: Americas, World Affairs Topics: Iraq, Political Correctness, Saddam Hussein Views: 10410

In 1837, Danish author, Hans Christian Andersen, wrote a wonderful fairy tale which he titled The Emperor's New Clothes. It may be the very first example of the power of political correctness. It is the story of the Ruler of a distant land who was so enamored of his appearance and his clothing that he had a different suit for every hour of the day. 

One day two rogues arrived in town, claiming to be gifted weavers. They convinced the Emperor that they could weave the most wonderful cloth, which had a magical property. The clothes were only visible to those who were completely pure in heart and spirit. 

The Emperor was impressed and ordered the weavers to begin work immediately. The rogues, who had a deep understanding of human nature, began to feign work on empty looms. 

Minister after minister went to view the new clothes and all came back exhorting the beauty of the cloth on the looms even though none of them could see a thing. 

Finally a grand procession was planned for the Emperor to display his new finery. The Emperor went to view his clothes and was shocked to see absolutely nothing, but he pretended to admire the fabulous cloth, inspect the clothes with awe, and, after disrobing, go through the motions of carefully putting on a suit of the new garments.

Under a royal canopy the Emperor appeared to the admiring throng of his people - - all of whom cheered and clapped because they all knew the rogue weavers' tale and did not want to be seen as less than pure of heart.

But, the bubble burst when an innocent child loudly exclaimed, for the whole kingdom to hear, that the Emperor had nothing on at all. He had no clothes. 

That tale seems to me very like the way this nation was led to war.

We were told that we were threatened by weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but they have not been seen.

We were told that the throngs of Iraqi's would welcome our troops with flowers, but no throngs or flowers appeared.

We were led to believe that Saddam Hussein was connected to the attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, but no evidence has ever been produced.

We were told in 16 words that Saddam Hussein tried to buy "yellow cake" from Africa for production of nuclear weapons, but the story has turned into empty air.

We were frightened with visions of mushroom clouds, but they turned out to be only vapors of the mind. 

We were told that major combat was over but 101 [as of October 17] Americans have died in combat since that proclamation from the deck of an aircraft carrier by our very own Emperor in his new clothes.

Our emperor says that we are not occupiers, yet we show no inclination to relinquish the country of Iraq to its people. 

Those who have dared to expose the nakedness of the Administration's policies in Iraq have been subjected to scorn. Those who have noticed the elephant in the room -- that is, the fact that this war was based on falsehoods - have had our patriotism questioned.  Those who have spoken aloud the thought shared by hundreds of thousands of military families across this country, that our troops should return quickly and safely from the dangers half a world away, have been accused of cowardice. We have then seen the untruths, the dissembling, the fabrication, the misleading inferences surrounding this rush to war in Iraq wrapped quickly in the flag.

The right to ask questions, debate, and dissent is under attack. The drums of war are beaten ever louder in an attempt to drown out those who speak of our predicament in stark terms.

Even in the Senate, our history and tradition of being the world's greatest deliberative body is being snubbed. This huge spending bill has been rushed through this chamber in just one month. There were just three open hearings by the Senate Appropriations Committee on $87 billion, without a single outside witness called to challenge the Administration's line.

Ambassador Bremer went so far as to refuse to return to the Appropriations Committee to answer additional questions because, and I quote: "I don't have time. I'm completely booked, and I have to get back to Baghdad to my duties."

Despite this callous stiff-arm of the Senate and its duties to ask questions in order to represent the American people, few dared to voice their opposition to rushing this bill through these halls of Congress. Perhaps they were intimidated by the false claims that our troops are in immediate need of more funds.

But the time has come for the sheep-like political correctness which has cowed members of this Senate to come to an end. 

The Emperor has no clothes. This entire adventure in Iraq has been based on propaganda and manipulation. Eighty-seven billion dollars is too much to pay for the continuation of a war based on falsehoods.

Taking the nation to war based on misleading rhetoric and hyped intelligence is a travesty and a tragedy. It is the most cynical of all cynical acts. It is dangerous to manipulate the truth. It is dangerous because once having lied, it is difficult to ever be believed again. Having misled the American people and stampeded them to war, this Administration must now attempt to sustain a policy predicated on falsehoods. The President asks for billions from those same citizens who know that they were misled about the need to go to war. We misinformed and insulted our friends and allies and now this Administration is having more than a little trouble getting help from the international community. It is perilous to mislead.

The single-minded obsession of this Administration to now make sense of the chaos in Iraq, and the continuing propaganda which emanates from the White House painting Iraq as the geographical center of terrorism is distracting our attention from Afghanistan and the 60 other countries in the world where terrorists hide. It is sapping resources which could be used to make us safer from terrorists on our own shores. The body armor for our own citizens still has many, many chinks. Have we forgotten that the most horrific terror attacks in history occurred right here at home!! Yet, this Administration turns back money for homeland security, while the President pours billions into security for Iraq. I am powerless to understand or explain such a policy.

I have tried mightily to improve this bill. I twice tried to separate the reconstruction money in this bill, so that those dollars could be considered separately from the military spending. I offered an amendment to force the Administration to craft a plan to get other nations to assist the troops and formulate a plan to get the U.N. in, and the U.S. out, of Iraq. Twice I tried to rid the bill of expansive, flexible authorities that turn this $87 billion into a blank check. The American people should understand that we provide more foreign aid for Iraq in this bill, $20.3 billion, than we provide for the rest of the entire world!  I attempted to remove from this bill billions in wasteful programs and divert those funds to better use. But, at every turn, my efforts were thwarted by the vapid argument that we must all support the requests of the Commander in Chief.

I cannot stand by and continue to watch our grandchildren become increasingly burdened by the billions that fly out of the Treasury for a war and a policy based largely on propaganda and prevarication. We are borrowing $87 billion to finance this adventure in Iraq. The President is asking this Senate to pay for this war with increased debt, a debt that will have to be paid by our children and by those same troops that are currently fighting this war. I cannot support outlandish tax cuts that plunge our country into potentially disastrous debt while our troops are fighting and dying in a war that the White House chose to begin.

I cannot support the continuation of a policy that unwisely ties down 150,000 American troops for the foreseeable future, with no end in sight.

I cannot support a President who refuses to authorize the reasonable change in course that would bring traditional allies to our side in Iraq.

I cannot support the politics of zeal and "might makes right" that created the new American arrogance and unilateralism which passes for foreign policy in this Administration.

I cannot support this foolish manifestation of the dangerous and destabilizing doctrine of preemption that changes the image of America into that of a reckless bully.

The emperor has no clothes. And our former allies around the world were the first to loudly observe it.

I shall vote against this bill because I cannot support a policy based on prevarication. I cannot support doling out 87 billion of our hard-earned tax dollars when I have so many doubts about the wisdom of its use.

I began my remarks with a fairy tale. I shall close my remarks with a horror story, in the form of a quote from the book Nuremberg Diaries, written by G.M. Gilbert, in which the author interviews Hermann Goering.

"We got around to the subject of war again and I said that, contrary to his attitude, I did not think that the common people are very thankful for leaders who bring them war and destruction.

". . . But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.

"There is one difference," I pointed out. "In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars."

"Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

Source: Indymedia.org


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  17 Comments   Comment

  1. Cesar from USA/MEX

    I am one of those evangelical Christians who opposed the war right from the start, not because "War is wrong" but because in this case the Bush administration failed to provide substantial evidence for it. The Administration's argument that the removal of Saddam Hussein was necessary in order to ensure the immediate safety of the U.S. and its citizens is flawed, so much so that if failed to persuade the United Nations (A World body that had access to all the information necessary to know better) or any other major world power to join it's coalition.

    So, why did the current U.S. administration continue on to make war against Iraq even though Iraq did not pose an immediate treat to the U.S.? The major reason is because Saddam Hussein's regime was a major supporter of the Palestinian Freedom Fighters; he did so for political reasons and not for his moral or theological standing, hence his regime became a major obstacle to the stabilization of the region. The second purpose for the war was to demonstrate to other nations in the region who support the Palestinian insurgence (ex; Syria) the extent to which the Bush administration is willing to go to support Israel.

    What the Bush administration fails to realize is that the stabilization of the Middle East and long term security of the U.S. and its citizens depend mainly on a just and un-bias resolution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and not just the removal of unfriendly regimes or terrorist organizations.

  2. riduan from NA

    Bush says he must inforce the UN security counsel resolutions on iraq. But at the very same time ignores the countless resolutions that have been passed condeming Israel for its actions in the occupied territories. Is it just me or can anyone else see the ignorance. This tied of hatred against the US can only be turned once the US Government(CIA, FBI, et. al) realise that their own actions have are their greatest enemy.

  3. shyemaa' from Canada

    Bush Jr and the American government have always held a miraculous stand on the fact that they have always been able to convince the public (or atleast most of them) to believe each time they have lied again and again. As the saying goes, one lie leads to a bigger lie, so has Bush and his administration.

    To hide the truth beneath the WTC, a lie had to made to divert the people's attention before the stone of truth could be revealed to the pulic -- the war in Afghanistan to 'root out' Osama bin Laden.

    Then in order to hide the poverty-war-divided-broken-shattered city's brutal reality, where Osama could not be found, Bush and his administration searched desperately for another bigger, and better lie.

    That is when the Saddam regeme would be crumbled and humbled by the 'great' US of A. Only when people reached there, there was no way the truth behind Bush's other face could be hid any longer.

    But wait -- there is another better way that has been invented.

    It is also known as calling the people in Iraq against the American occupation, terrorists.

    Wait a minute since when did terrorism stop meaning the systematic use of violence as a means to intimidate or coerce societies or governments, and change into:

    the systematic use of violence by societies as a means to intimidate or coerce the American Occupation?

    Ah! Whatever, my head hurts, and I can't think!

    If I say anything against the American Government, they will do something to me.

    I never said anything...

    Just let me enjoy the victory of the Canadian Dollar in peace -- hey! Who knows -- maybe Canada's next.

    ::Looks around cautiously and hides in the secret rabbit hole::

  4. Kovitz from Canada

    ...USA/ISRAEL.

    Wars will not bring Peace to the world, only Justice can.

  5. Charles Jacks from USA

    The US press indicates the Israelis rule the world by proxy. http://www.dailystar.com.lb/opinion/22_10_03_d.asp but they have an inept poodle. While the US continues to state it is not into nation building, the actions of the West in Palestine, Afghanistan and Iraq indicate it has lost the understanding of nation destruction it had when it ethnically cleansed the Australian, North and South American continents.

    Every group of people above the size of a few families self organize along three features, politics, theology and economy. The West's standard attack had three phases. A expeditionary military force would destroy the political structure. A secondary military invasion accompanied by missionaries would destroy the theological structure and then the merchants would strip the land of resources for the homeland. The results of these would be the destruction of the society via war, plague and famine. (also known to tritheists as the three dark horses of the apocalypse.)

    They have failed in Afghanistan in that their myopic pursuit of the theological structure has allowed the creation of alternative political and economic structures embodied in the form of war-drug lords that will eventually fight a civil war with the minuscule "central" government. The extraction of foreign help from the central puppets and the civil war will push the population to support a return of a hammer fisted theological group like the Taleban.

    In Iraq the destruction of the political structure and the selling off of the economic structure will push the population into the support of a theological group as the only organization of Iraqis, by Iraqis and most importantly for Iraqis. Also eventually at odds with the puppet government.

    In the latter it is difficult to determine whether this is just ineptitude or malicious intent. While Israel's poodle may be in pursuit of a "greater Israel" it als indicates an attempt to engineer Armageddon for his evangelistically end timer political b

  6. H.A. from X-istan

    To all Muslims...

    Please encourage yourselves and your children to get BACK into SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY. If you want to keep any Emperor FULLY CLOTHED 24 hrs/day, YOU MUST LEARN HOW TO BUILD BIG BOMBS, and FAST AND STEALTHY WAR MACHINES.

    As I have mentioned before, the enemies of Islam and Muslims ONLY understand how many NUKES it would take to destroy their HOMEISTANS. They will never pay heed to your nice and peaceful talks.

    The ONLY WAY TO KEEP the zionists, crusaders, and wannabe zionists and crusaders (many who post comments here) FULLY CLOTHED, is to make them realize that if they ever decide to bare even a just small area of their body, they would be made to FLOAT IN ANOTHER HORRIBLE DIMENSION in just a few seconds simply by pressing THE LAUNCHING BUTTON.

  7. Akbar Khan from Canada

    Romesh...just a few words for your obtuse commentary. For one, we already know that congress and the White House are responsible for attacking Iraq...and so is the Pentagon...you are not an informant, this is clearly known to everyone, including Dick Cheney who organized this circus between these levels of government to join him in going into Iraq. Secondly, Congress is a majority Republican house, so what's the use of your comments, we know this already?? Now...lastly, the old saying, "you reap what you sow" perfectly applies to this situation in the occupation of Iraq, as even Galatians 6:7-10 of the Bible states that the evildoer fulfilling his sinful nature, then nature itself will reap destruction upon him. As Bush claims to be a Methodist Christian, he is not doing good to the "family of believers" as stated in this verse, therefore he will not reap a harvest or blessing. I dare you to argue that with a Christian...or myself if you are up to it. Keep trying Romesh...

  8. Spion from South Africa

    Things will never improve as long as successive American administrations are content to be Zionist lackies. Those who HAVE had the courage to fight this scourge have all been hounded out of office, driven to suicide or have met mysterious ends. The outgoing premier of Malaysia was absolutely correct. This world IS run by the Jews. When are we all going to wake up??!!

  9. Muzammil from Malaysia

    Bravo Bush! You have reduced US from a rich and powerful country who 'can have a few Gulf-War simultenously'(as claimed by neo-con advisors) to a country begging world community to help her to fund Iraq redevelopment. Shame! Shame!

    When it started the war, Bush chose to close its almost deaf ears to cries of world community and bulldozed through the stupid war with it's similarly arrogant but idiotic allies Blair of UK and Howard of Australia.

    Worse, to safe face, Bush said, there were many countries he code-named "coalition of willing" who 'supported' the war. Now that US is in big mess deep shit, where the heck are those 'coalition of willing?'. Knock! Knock! Hello! Where are you 'willing friends'? If there were really 'coalition of willing', why does US has to beg now?

    If I were the world leaders such as Chirac or German Chancelor at the 'beggars' conference' (officially renamed Donors Conference) in Madrid, I will say while pointing my index fingers to Bush's 10-cents face, "Go home and fly kite Bush. I wont' give you a single cents! You create this mess! You pay for the damned thing! I told you so. You did not listened! Now you clean the shit! And don't even repeat this bloody mistake again in Iran or Syria or anywhere else!"

    And I would wish Bush will say, "Yes sir! I hear you".

    Personally, I do hope Bush and whoever will be next US President will take this messy cowdung as a lesson not to be forgotten for years to come that war is messy and expensive and war should be started with ulterior motive. That even US cannot start a war alone without world community.

    But then, will Emperor Bush Jr. ever learn? Personally, he may.

    Will Bush's master Sharon and neo-con extremists who now are mis-advising Bush learn?

    They may not, for they have ulterior motive.

    Thus, I predict if neo-con continues to advise American Presidents, US will repeat this mess again until it goes bankrupt and become weak.

    Good or bad? You Am

  10. Yahya Bergum from USA

    Peace be with you, Senator. Allah knows best. May you enjoy the blessings of Ramadan. God bless you.

    --Yahya Bergum (a Muslim, God willing)

  11. Asif Ameer from USA

    Isnt PBS showing this in its intervals? The PRESIDENT of United States is naked, meets in Moscow, Cairo, France and the military.. in the Whitehouse , all naked all the time till a gardener looks at him and says "Haw! you are NAKED".

    Funny thing is, even Clinton was naked but Bush has exceeded him by performing a strip dance on every news network.

    Go Bush Go! I am enjoying it and am very interested to see what child learns in his history lesson about the Great American legacy.

  12. Romesh Chander from US

    'That tale seems to me very like the way this nation was led to war.' Frankly, Senator Byrd is being disingenuous. Everybody knew that there was no WMD in Iraq and Sadam Hussain had nothing to do with 9/11; still congress passed the war resolution and appropriated the money. Why? Because congress has no guts to face the truth. All Senator Byrd could do was to make speeches in an empty senate chamber.

    'This huge spending bill has been rushed through this chamber in just one month. There were just three open hearings by the Senate Appropriations Committee on $87 billion, without a single outside witness called to challenge the Administration's line.'. Then why did the congress pass the bill. How many more such bills will be passed by the congress, if the war, as predicted, drags on for several more years?

    Quit blaming the White House; blame lies squarely with the congress; they did not do their duty and are now blaming GW Bush. The price of this will be paid by the entire world.

    To me GW Bush wanted the war; and congress wanted the war; they both got it.

  13. MRahman

    Saddam took his country to this situation by manipulation & falsehood. Now where our free world leader taking us!?

  14. D.B.

    Beyond differing opions, the U.S. is not, and never was a democracy. It is a Republic with a representative form of government. Read the constitution.

  15. robin shah from india

    absolutely wonderful. president bush will go down in the american history as the biggest lier who drove america intoextinction.the bigining of the decline of a superpower.thre is not one nation in the world today that has any respect for the american govt

  16. Akbar Khan from Canada

    LET IT BE KNOWN, that the most patriotic thing one can do is to criticize his/her own government. If you want to be a patriot, then get off your high horses and be a PATRIOTIC AMERICAN and speak against injustices committed by your government...or else it will continue to rule America as a Tyrannical Oligarchy. If America does not do that, then it might have to suffer the fate of those nations who have had oligarchies before. Let's name a few of them..Rome, Egypt, The Peloponesian League of Greece...they all fell miserably by invading forces because these oligarchies could not control their lower level of population who had no voice...read your history and you'll see what I see.

    Oligarchy:

    The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.

    "...Government by a few, especially by a small faction of persons or families. b. Those making up such a government. 2. A state governed by a few persons. oligarchic,..."

    Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

    1 : government by the few

    2 : a government in which a small group exercises control especially for corrupt and selfish purposes; also : a group exercising such control

    3 : an organization under oligarchic control

    Encarta:

    oligarchy [ ólli grkee ] (plural oligarchies)

    1. small governing group: a small group of people who together govern a nation or control an organization, often for their own purposes

    2. entity ruled by oligarchy: a nation governed or an organization controlled by an oligarchy

    3. government by small group: government or control by a small group of people

    [Late 15th century. From Greek oligarkhia , from oligos "few" + -arkhia "-archy"

    It's always a pleasure to read Senator Byrd's thoughts, and to see his respectful thoughts, his ability to follow common sense, and to be truthful...for that I give my many thanks to him.

  17. Abu Saad from UAE

    Well done Senetor,I dont think it could have been said any better.The Emperor IS NAKED and no one seems to tell him.It high time the American people woke up from slumber and start to do something to tame the bull in the china shop.