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October 28, 2003
Are you entitled to know the truth?

By Ahmed Amr.


Are you entitled to know the truth?
By Ahmed Amr

"There are different kinds of truths for different kinds of people. There are truths appropriate for children; truths that are appropriate for students; truths that are appropriate for educated adults; and truths that are appropriate for highly educated adults, and the notion that there should be one set of truths available to everyone is a modern democratic fallacy. It doesn't work."

That above quote is attributed to Irving Kristol, the former editor of Commentary, a publication of the American Jewish Committee. The older Kristol just happens to be the father of William Kristol, the editor of the Weekly Standard, the neo-con bible. The Standard is owned by Rupert Murdoch who just happens to own FOX, The New York Post, The London Times and SKY.

So what amount of 'truth' are you entitled to? How much deception should be part of your daily 'news' allocation? Are you a child, a student, an educated adult, a highly educated adult, a grunt in Iraq or a four star general in the Pentagon? Or are you a part of the neo-conservative clergy that determines what truths are appropriate for your group? Are you Billy Kristol, the self appointed pope of the neo-con priesthood?

This is a test to help you determine the amount of truth you deserve.

1. If you still believe that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and connections to Al-Qaida. If you believe that Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11. You just qualified as one of Irving Kristol's children.

2. If you believe that Saddam was a horrible monster and that America had the sole responsibility for engineering a regime change in Iraq. If you are still confused about Saddam's capability of assaulting the United States with non-existent WMDs. If you think that Likudniks like Wolfowitz and Perle had noble intentions to 'liberate' the Iraqi people. If you haven't made the connection that these two Sharon operatives consistently support the repression of the Palestinians? You probably qualify as a 'C' student.

3. If you think that FOX is 'fair and balanced'. If you believe that the adults who make the big decisions would not put you in harm's way for their alien agendas? If you think that oil was a good enough reason to go to war. If you just want to blow things up in another country because you are angry at Bin Laden. If you are starting to have doubts about all the above. Well, I bet you are a reserve soldier just itching to get the hell out of Baghdad.

4. Do you think you might qualify as an 'educated adult? You probably believe that no Likudnik fanatic can pull the wool over your lying eyes. You might even buy into the notion that you were taken in by 'intelligence failures' as a result of sloppy work by the CIA. You have no idea about the Office of Special Plans. It was set up by Wolfowitz to 'sex up' and dumb down the work of American intelligence agencies and the State Department. You think the Plame affair was just a prank by a few over zealous White House aides.

5. You got this far. So you must belong to the highly educated class of Americans. You had it figured out all along. You were uncertain about the WMDs. But Saddam's repression of the Kurds and previous use of chemical weapons against Halabja made the war somewhat justifiable. You marched in a few peace demonstrations against the war but concluded that there was no hope of taking on the neo-cons and their allies at FOX and CNN. Your main objection was that we should have waited for more of our allies to pitch in. The Bush doctrine of 'preemptive strikes' really troubles you. You know the Plame affair will be more explosive than Watergate. You want to declare victory and get the boys home by Christmas?

6. To qualify for four star general status, you must at least be a three star general or a veteran diplomat. The Likudnik influence in the Bush administration really troubles you. You hate the way the public was misled. This was not going to be Vietnam, but you feel the whole scheme was an unnecessary risk that would cost the country dearly in blood and treasure. What really got under your skin was the diversion of resources away from the war on terror to appease Wolfowitz and his agenda to re-engineer the Middle East to suit Sharon's ambitions. You despise the draft-dodgers and Chicken Hawks who have taken over the management of the Pentagon. You went along because you are a soldier who follows orders. Besides, being on the inside would help you muzzle at least part of the neo-con fantasies. Getting rid of Saddam was an attractive proposition. It would allow America to close the bases in Saudi Arabia, robbing Bin Laden and his followers of their main recruiting tool. The build up to the war would also be an opportunity to replace the Saudi bases with more modern facilities in Qatar. The embargo against Iraq, an open sore that was exploited by Al-Qaida, would come to an end. You knew the Road Map was road kill from the start. But two out of three Bin Laden magnets was not bad. You get a lump in your throat every time you order a young captain to go out on patrol in Falujah. Every time you hear about a young GI from Alabama getting killed, you think of Cheney's five deferments during the Vietnam War. You can't believe that the Vice President had the gall to steer no bid contracts to Hailburton. You wish you had followed General Eric Shinseki out the door in protest against Perle and Woflowitz. Too late for that now. Besides, these colors don't run and you want to help formulate an honorable exit strategy. You are watching the Plame scandal and hoping the CIA gets in a couple of good licks at the Likudnik cabal. You are hoping, against hope, that Rumsfeld will finally listen to his generals. Better still, you would like him to have the decency to resign.

7. Oh, you think you're a neo-con. So, you know how tiny your little cabal is. You are looking for the other fifty neo-cons to gather at the American Enterprise Institute to do a little bit of damage control. The broad plan is to blame the mess on 'intelligence failures' and Chalabi. You can count on Chalabi to be a good sport. But the CIA poses a serious challenge. Perhaps it was a little rash to out Plame. But Wilson had it coming for not being a team player. With a little luck, Ashcroft will manage to put the whole matter to sleep. But in the back of your mind you still worry that the CIA is still the CIA. Every time your little cabal has tried to spring Pollard, the CIA has managed to over rule the president. You have already closed the Office of Special Plans (OSP) and can probably avoid the nasty business of revealing the conspiratorial role of Krauthammer at the Post and Judith Miller at the Times. Donald Graham will pitch in to keep Novak silent about his sources. The Likudnik faithful in the media have been directed to focus on the 'good news' coming out of Iraq. Sharon says the cabal should rush Bush to battle in Syria and Iran. The reason for the hurry is that you can no longer depend on a second Bush term. Cheney might be the first casualty and without him, you could all drop like flies. If the need arises, all neo-cons must go on the offensive to protect the realm. Anybody who calls you neo-cons or accuses you of dual loyalty will be attacked as an anti-Semite. In the event of a major catastrophe, you will disband the neo-con cabal and move over to the Brookings Institute. You are confident that Martin Indyk and Dennis Ross will sign you up as neo-liberals.

8. Why if it ain't Billy Kristol. Who you worry. You know daddy always said you should look on the bright side and never underestimate the ignorance of the American masses. You think of Trotsky and smile. The neo-con 'movement' will just have to keep preaching to the little children and make a strong appeal to the core constituency that buys into Sharon's agenda, the Christian fundamentalists. They holy rollers are probably a little anxious about the postponement of Armageddon. But they can still be sold on the proposition that the road to Armageddon goes through Damascus. Baghdad was just a training exercise for the real thing. You still have an open forum on CNN and Fox. All Murdoch asks of the neo-cons is that they deliver another war so he can produce some vintage 'Reality TV'. Krauthammer is running circles around Donald Graham at the Washington Post. Judith Miller and William Safire have reported that Sulzberger is still swearing allegiance to Sharon and the Likud. You shouldn't worry too much about the CIA. The 'intelligence failure' attack worked after 9/11 and it has a good chance of being effective in putting to bed this whole nasty Plame issue. Keep Tenant on the defensive. The Plame affair is already DOA. The neo-cons have gone a long way together. You fondly remember when neo-cons were just a seed planted as aides to Senator Scoop Jackson. You will urge the rest of the cabal to consider neo-con achievements. You managed to derail the Oslo Plan. Sharon still has an opportunity to crush the Palestinian resistance. Sure, he said it would take a hundred days. It has been a thousand days but he is still going strong. And Bush is standing by him as a man of peace. The United Nations has been reduced to an irrelevant debating society. The French have been neutralized. That sends a very powerful message to other troublemakers who want to make a fuss about our unilateralism. The 'preemptive' doctrine is now as American as apple pie. That will serve Sharon well when he attacks Syria. As the neo-con pope, you are still moved to tears by Jabotinsky and his vision for a final solution to the Palestinian problem. Daddy Kristol was right. He always held firm to the view that if America loses a yard and Israel gains an inch, we all gain.

Ahmed Amr

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