Hypocrisy: A Definition and a Scottish Terrier

Hypocrisy comes from the Latin hypocrisis, which in turn derives from the Greek uasperpi.gifgoacukapparhoiotasigmaiotafsigma.gif, which means, according to the OED, “the acting of a part on the stage, feigning, pretence.”

And it was on a stage yesterday in Maumee, Ohio, that our Dear Leader
told an adoring crowd of pancake eaters–who might as well have been lotus eaters–that he has “vision” and a “plan to win the war on terror.” That plan, the White House just announced, will require another $25 billion. And this is in addition to the $160 billion Bush has already asked for (and received).

About Iraq, Bush said that “because we acted, torture chambers are closed.” It seems to me utterly heartless and cruelly hypocritical to make such a statement at the same time the top story in the world news is the systematic abuse, torture, and murder of Iraqi prisoners of war at the hands of U.S. soldiers.

The president is fumbling around for explanations and excuses today, but what was the White House saying about this issue yesterday? Running a search yesterday for official photographs of the administration, thinking I’d find an engaging close-up of an “annoyed” Bush scolding Rummy, I instead found only two photographs on the White House website. Both were of “Barney,” the president’s Scottish Terrier playing with a golf ball on the South Lawn.

The dog’s golf ball is an issue of national importance, of course, and I can absolutely understand why Americans need to see their White House at work. Nonetheless, I wonder if there might be the teensiest bit of politicking behind this photograph. As if it could somehow be an antidote to the disturbing images of Iraqi soldiers, hooded and naked, forced to pile themselves into a pyramid, while behind them two smiling American soldiers pose for the camera. (See the Memory Hole for some of these photographs, but be forewarned they are graphic and unsettling.)

Meanwhile Bush can continue telling his supporters that “Either Iraq will be a camp for terror and tyranny, or Iraq will be a model for freedom and democracy…” The latter will certainly not happen on his watch.