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Le Monde Admits Bush Did Not Lie
…and… promptly proceeds to bury the story at the bottom of page 32!
The newspaper of reference does more to hide the fact that five top international weapons experts discount the theory of the WMD threat being nothing but an infamous scare tactic. This it does by presenting the major news item on its "media" page as the matter-of-fact review of the latest issue of a periodical currently on the newsstands (actually, available mainly by subscription). Obviously, Le Monde considers the new fashion of fictitious documentaries and Prisma's new TV channels (among other items placed above the WMD article) of far wider interest than the possibility that the ravings and rants against George W Bush may be unfair.
And needless to say, the title as well as the subhead is low-key to the extreme (The Issue of Iraq's Weaponry Is Not Clear-Cut: In the review Politique Étrangère, five experts keep the debate on the existence of WMD alive).
And no wonder: the gist of the April 2, 2004, article — "just the facts, Ma'am", if you prefer — undermines, undoes, and shatters the entire controversy that has been damaging Bush and Tony Blair with regards to their alleged lies when they mentioned Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction as a reason for launching the March 2003 attack on the butcher of Baghdad's régime. Insofar as the issue of fibs must be addressed at all, the article not only states that if "outrageous lies" were made, they were made by the dictator's top henchmen (when answering questions by UN weapons inspectors); it also suggests that to go around carping about Dubya's alleged lies is extremely misleading, to say the least, something which could be called a lie in itself.
"Can one at this time conclude with certainty that these weapons don't exist?", Le Monde's Mouna Naïm quotes issue 1 (volume 69) of Politique Étrangère as asking. "No, answer WMD specialists and experts in articles published in the latest issue of the quarterly review".
Mainly because, first of all, for 11 years, from 1991 to 2003, the Iraqi régime never stopped lying in one respect or another; and, furthermore, numerous questions asked by the disarmament teams, which operated in Iraq under the umbrella of Unscom until 1998 and under that of Unmovic from late November 2002, remain unanswered. …
Now, isn't that interesting? And mightn't that information warrant being set somewhere on, or near, the front page? And would that not demand a special story all for itself, instead of falling within the review of a sister publication?
Well, in ordinary circumstances, the answer would be, Yes, absolutely; you bet your cotton-picking a**. But you have to remember here, that we are dealing with the world's number 1 enemy, the most horrible threat to world peace, the most treacherous of societies the planet has ever come across. Whom are we speaking of? But l'Amérique, bien sûr, its horrifying capitalism, and its despicable leaders.
You're forgetting that the media, in France as elsewhere, must constantly raise the pressure on the United States, on Washington, on the American people, and on George W Bush, twisting, minimizing, or exaggerrating, as the case may be. And in that respect, it must constantly use the most contemptible words and expressions with regards to the White House and its allies (Tony Blair, José Maria Aznar, and Silvio Berlusconi, among others), and that, preferably, in the strongest possible way ("lying" is not harsh enough; one must use the Biblically-inspired "original lie" and the Stalinist-inspired "state lie" — and believe me, those expressions are used on page 1! Et plutôt deux fois qu'une!) And so… it's off to page 32! Bottom rank, no less.
But wait a minute, you may ask: do not the facts in this article suggest that the holy fight against Bush and America is overblown to begin with? Don't they prove — along with the fact that most Iraqis seem to have supported the war to oust Saddam — (or don't they, at least, suggest) that perhaps Dubya wasn't that horrible to begin with, that he wasn't that big of a liar to begin with, that he wasn't that wrong to have used force to depose the butcher of Baghdad to begin with?
Don't be silly. The fact that the evidence denies that Washington was treacherous to begin with, we cannot let that obscure our holy cause, can we? To agree with that, you would have to admit that France, the Élysée, and the Quai d'Orsay were mistaken to oppose President Bush in this matter. You would have to admit that the entire mudslinging campaign against Uncle Sam was wrong, not only in the beginning of the 21st century, but perhaps even for the past six decades as well. You would have to admit that the pacifists' language of doom, as applied to les Américains, was unsound and misguided. You might even have to admit that such people can hardly be called pacifists or peace-lovers, by any stretch of the imagination.
Non, il n'en est pas question! Nothing going. So in the future, expect to see more stories about Yankee lies, Yankee treachery, Yankee duplicity, Yankee backstabbing, Yankee horrors. Both in the coming weeks, and in the coming months, and in the coming years, and in the coming decades.