Sunday, September 12, 2010

There's lies, damn lies, and then there's President Obama

Anyone remember Dear Leader's recent Oval Office address, in which he proudly took credit for the smashing success of the very "surge" in troop strength that he so vehemently opposed during the 2008 campaign?  The speech where he also took the opportunity to smugly announce "the end of our combat mission in Iraq", and told everyone that the "final combat brigade" had pulled out two weeks earlier?

Yeah, about that.  The following is an email in its entirety (save for our removal of identifying information and pictures to protect the soldier who wrote it from reprisal.  We will say that the author is an officer and West Point graduate) from a very good friend's deployed relative that shows how much of a complete sham the President's cynical proclamation really was:

Subject: Update 8-20-2010
Date: Friday, August 20, 2010, 5:41 PM

Hey everybody I just wanted to send a quick update and give Yall the REAL story on what's going on over here with the troop withdrawal.  The picture is of my crew and I on a break during a mission.   The guy to the far left is my gunner
[redacted] and the guy in the middle is my driver [redacted].  They go with me on every mission and are great guys.  The reason I'm sending this out is because I have had a few people ask if I left Iraq early because all of the combat troops are out of Iraq and I wanted to let everyone know the real deal.  It's kind of ridiculous how the news is saying that the last of the "combat" troops are out of Iraq because of Pres Osama ( I mean Obama ).  He says that it was his campaign promise.  Take our Brigade for example.  We were originally called a HBCT ( Heavy Brigade Combat Team).  Well since Obama said he would pull all of the "combat" troops out by Aug all they did before we left was change our name from a HBCT to a AAB ( Advise and Assist Brigade ).  We have the same personnel/equipment layout as before and are doing the same missions.  The ONLY difference is that they changed our name from a HBCT to an AAB and that's how he is getting away with saying that he has pulled all of the "combat" troops out.  It is really ridiculous what he's doing and he has ticked alot of people off.  And it's funny how the media is buying all of it to.  So no the last combat troops are not out of Iraq we are still here.  There are other Brigades just like ours that are doing the same missions that are still over here.  Sorry for going on about it but we are just sitting over here watching it and are like "You've got to be kidding me!"  So anyway now you know the REAL story so that's why I'm not coming back early.  Anyways I hope everyone is doing well and I'll see you soon!

[redacted]


Mr. President, calling a carrot a chocolate cake just doesn't make it so.

Please stop your pathological incessant lying to the American people at every opportunity.

Thanks.

6 comments:

Betsy said...

While I agree with you (I think, at least) in that it's a bloody shame that the war continues, particularly when we are given misleading information about its perpetuation - I must protest at the use of the term "pathological lying." Lying, I can/will neither yea or nay. Pathological, I will definitely nay.

Pathological lies are impulsive, purposeless, and out of habit. There is no cause to lie, no motive, simply following the path most traveled because it's the only recognizable one. In this case, there definitely a recognizable motive to lie: garnering public support. Perpetuating a public image of a peacemaker. In other words, political gain.

A pathological lie might sound something like, "I had lasagna for dinner," when really he had Chinese, or, "I saw this really neat yellow and blue dog the other day!" when really, no such thing happened. These lies have no purpose, they don't further his cause, and they appear to be impulsive.

It would appear, to the casual observer, that you are using a statement fallacious in nature (see: loaded or complex question, except you rephrased the question in the form of a request) to illustrate or indicate nothing, only invoke an emotional response from your readers. If this is indeed the case (and please, correct me if I'm misinterpreting your words), it undermines the credibility of your arguments. It, and your interjections of subjective adverbs such as "smugly," "proudly," and "vehemently." Being subjective, they don't contribute anything of value to the information you present. Again, it would appear that they exist simply to add the ambience of bias.

Then again, I may be misinterpreting the point of your entry: is it intended to be an illustration of your opinion, or a serious critique of political affairs? Or something else entirely?

Either way, the "pathological liar" sentence does not sit well with me.

Bike Bubba said...

Betsy, what our gracious host is saying is that our President has a habit of lying about anything and everything.

Remember waiting periods before signing so people could read laws? Health insurance reform would save money and reduce the deficit? Vigorous enforcement of open records? You go down the list, all of Obama's promises expire when politically inconvenient.

He is a pathological liar, one who makes Bill Clinton look honest in comparison.

Betsy said...

I think you misunderstand pathological lying. Those are political agenda lies/broken promises. Big, big difference. Whether there are lots of them or not is irrelevant. You say yourself they "expire when politically inconvenient." That is not an example of pathological lying, it is an example of dishonesty as a political tactic.

Douglas Hester said...

Betsy,

Welcome and thanks for contributing to the discussion. I know from talking to you in person that you don't often care to engage in such debate, so I'm honored that you've chosen to do so here. I am positive that you will add some much-needed perspective from an alternate viewpoint.

You do make a valid point about the President's lying (we can at least agree that there is an abundance of that from him, right?) perhaps not rising to the level of pathological, although your definition of that status included both "impulsive" and "out of habit", which in my opinion are bars that Mr. Obama's truth-smashing easily hurdles. The fibbing seemingly is done for a purpose, I'll grant you that, so I'll change the description used in the post to "incessant".

As for my creative use of subjective adverbs, it is done mostly for entertainment value and not to add the "ambience" of bias, as I think that my biases are already very clearly delineated in my writing. I believe that every person has some biases and preconceived notions; I can do no more than be completely honest and upfront about them so that my views on subjects can be placed in the proper context.

What I try to do around here is to creatively illustrate my opinions on freedom and fairness issues through commenting on topical stories in the hopes of sparking lively debate and general entertainment for all involved, as well as to shed some much-needed light on abusive government employees and policies. I really hope you stick around awhile to contribute to the fun ;)

I'll see you soon at the Village.

Betsy said...

Rock on :) And thanks for the clarification of your intent.

Although, I disagree that the untruths in question are impulsive (on the contrary, they appear to be premeditated). And I have yet to see compelling evidence that any President is not an incessant public truthbender. It's kind of a given to me.

I'm also not sure how many discussions I'm up for. Politics are definitely way out of my comfort zone. If you ever want to talk about the correlations between cone/rod ratios and diet in both diurnal and nocturnal bats, I would be delighted.

Douglas Hester said...

Believe it or not, I actually can talk about bat behavior. My faculty advisor at the University of Maryland was Gerry Wilkinson, one of the foremost bat authorities on the East Coast if not the entire country. Send me an email if you wish - I would also be delighted to talk about that topic with you, perhaps offline over lunch or something - I fear everyone else here would be bored silly ;)