Copyrighted material


by Steve Young

Steve Young columns

"Tehran has been responsible for at least some of the increasing lethality of anti-coalition attacks."

Sixteen words. Okay, "anti-coalition" is really one word, but give me some license to make a point. Certainly President Bush is trying to make one. And he does it so darn well. Let us harken back a few long, long years.

"The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." (16 words)   -- George W. Bush

'Course we found out it was a wee bit of a mislead.

This time it didn't take so long.

When General Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was asked whether Washington had proof that Tehran was behind the alleged movement of Revolutionary Guards, weapons, and IEDs into Iraq, he said: "I do not, sir."

Wonder who's gonna out Mrs. Pace.

But come on. What is the big deal? 16 words. 15 words. What could be said in so few words that could be that remarkable? It's not like we're going to impeach someone for one lousy sentence.

"I did not have sex with that woman, Monica Lewinsky." (10)   -- Bill Clinton

After all, what are a few words when gauging the essence of a man...

"I am not a crook." (5)   -- Richard M. Nixon

...or the truth in all that he speaks.

"I triple guarantee you, there are no American soldiers in Baghdad!" (11)   -- Baghdad Bob

It's not like the rest of the planet will think any less of us...

"Lies gets halfway around the world before truth has a chance to get its pants on." (16)   -- Winston Churchill

...or that the President will make any other "mistakes" when dealing with the failing economy and tax cuts or telling us who they truly benefit.

"Who lies for you will lie against you." (8)   -- Bosnian Proverb

...or that it would become a incessant, misdirecting rant.

"What about the buses?" (ad infinitum)   --Sean Hannity

Look, even if our CIA had a problem with the first 16 Words, it's not a lie since the Mr Blair said he thought it to be the truth.

"A half truth is a whole lie." (7 words)   -- Yiddish Proverb

So there's really nothing to revise. There is only staying on course.

"A man who has committed a mistake and doesn't correct it, is committing another mistake." (15)   -- Confucius

...because it's not like this little bit of questionable information really changes minds.

"The best liar is he who makes the smallest amount of lying go the longest way." (16)   -- Samuel Butler

Shards of roadside metal with "MADE BY IRA..." etched on are most likely from Iran. Then again, they could be from Iraq...or the Irish Republican Army...or a retirement fund...or some Jewish kid. But, hey, let's go with Iran. It's not like we'll start a war over it.

"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (15)   -- Mark Twain

We certainly wouldn't go to war based on just 15 or 16 words. Or even 25,000 liters of anthrax, the 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin, the 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent, the 29,984 munitions capable of delivering chemical agents...all of which were "ready on 45 minutes' notice." And which none existed.

"D'oh!" (1)   -- Homer Simpson

So this President isn't the most articulate leader we've had.

"Tricks and treachery are the practice of fools, that don't have brains enough to be honest." (16)   -- Ben Franklin

That's why he was smart to depend on people like George Tenet, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Don Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, etc, etc, best regards....

"The buck stops here." (4)   -- Harry Truman

...and has no problem with accepting final responsibility.

"How come I always get blamed for everything I do?" (10)   -- Dennis The Menace

You have to remember, the entire administration and says the President tells the truth...

"Who are you going to believe, me or your lyin' eyes?" (11)   -- Groucho Marx

...and there are still Americans still believe he didn't mean to mislead us.

"Marge, it takes two to lie. One to lie and one to listen." (13)   -- Homer Simpson

Like I said, he's our president...

"The trouble with practical jokes is that very often they get elected." (12)   -- Will Rodgers

...and that is really no big deal.

"O, what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive!" (13)   --Sir Walter Scott

It's not like he's one of those anti-American Dixie Chicks or George Clooney speaking their mind.

"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong." (11)   -- Voltaire

Anyway, it was only a few words. Really, what harm could they do?

"If any question why we died, Tell them, because our fathers lied." (12)   -- Rudyard Kipling

Steve Young, author of "Great Failures of the Extremely Successful" can be read every Sunday in the LA Daily News Op-Ed page (right next to Bill O'Reilly)

Comments? Send a letter to the editor.

Albion Monitor   March 17, 2006   (

All Rights Reserved.

Contact for permission to use in any format.