This White House is something even Lewis Carroll would find mind-boggling, so consistent is it in saying one thing and meaning the total opposite. And nowhere does this trait come through more dramatically than in the area of Standing Up to Our Enemies.
First there is Saudi Arabia, our dear friends (which is to say, dear friends of the Bush family for many decades), 15 of whom blew the hell out of the Pentagon and the World Trade Center in 2001. The people who let 14 girls burn to death (and beat potential rescuers) in a school because the girls did not don black robes and headscarves while they were ablaze and trying desperately to escape.
Then there is Pakistan. Pakistan, according to the White House, is our friend, yet it is common knowledge that al-Qaeda practically has kiosks in the open air market within its borders. Last month, Bush's friendship got put to the test when it was discovered that Pakistan's top nuclear scientist, Abdul Qadeer Khan, had sold Iran and North Korea information on building atomic bombs. Since you're either for us or against us, it would seem that Pakistan is having some difficult being "for us."
But the plot thickens. Oh, does it. The White House, not surprisingly, has known for a long time about Pakistan's nuclear ties to the Axis of Evil. However, it was hardly becoming for Bush to say anything about it since the vice president of the United States has known about Pakistan's activities
since 1989, when he was George H. W. Bush's Secretary of Defense. To have made the activities public would have cut aid from Pakistan, who was an ally in the U.S.'s fight against the Soviets in Afghanistan.
Coincidentally, it would have also been the end of a $1.4-billion sale of F-16 fighter jets, equipped to deliver nuclear weapons, to Islamabad. It turns out that Cheney really wanted to sell these planes, so much so that intelligence analyst Richard Barlow
--who wrote the Pakistan report and has reported that Cheney lied to Congress about Pakistan's nuclear capabilities, was forced out of his job.
And finally, we have Myanmar. On July 23, 2003, Bush signed a bill and issued an executive order that contained a ban on imports from Myanmar (Burma) in order to exert pressure on that nation's government to initiate democratic changes and to do something about its human rights record. How soon we forget! Only last week, you could order from the Bush-Cheney campaign website a cool fleece pullover with a tag that reads "Made in Burma."
Next time someone decides to restore morality to the White House, we should all get a big warning.