Schadenfreude: Not Just For Winners Anymore
Heads are exploding all over the Conserva-sphere, today. Mostly because the owners of those heads don’t read very carefully.
CJ Chivers broke a story, in The New York Times, exposing a Bush administration and Pentagon coverup of the fact that US military troops were, with some frequency, stumbling upon, and in some cases being wounded by, chemical agents while deployed in Iraq.
Just the media source and a little bit of introductory information were enough to get the Right cackling with glee and spewing out delirious Bush Vindication blurbs. They were not all that troubled by the fact that some US soldiers have been damaged for life by their exposure to chemicals, or that those soldiers were sent into harm’s way without adequate training and protection against what the military knew was there. They were just so danged delighted to be able to say “See! Libtards, this is your own lamestream media spilling the story that our princeling was right all along. So bite me!”
Interestingly, a few caught the irony and said “hmmmmm, what’s The Times up to, here.” They were the smarter ones. Most like a genius at Breitbart said things like this:
The irony, of course, is that the NY Times led the left to oppose the Iraq war, and was openly aiding and abetting the enemy, in a manner that I considered to be treasonous.
Conservative Twits took euphorically to Twitter. Brad Dayspring, former aide to Eric Cantor, who’s supposed to be a Republican Mastermind tweeted:
Right wing think tank guys spewed forth eleventy-leven variations on this theme:
Everything the media said about Iraq and WMDs was wrong. They lied!
In truth? what those soldiers in Iraq were stumbling across were old, old chemical weapons that we gave Saddam when he was all about fighting Iran. Since we are who we are, we gave Saddam waaaaayyyyyy more than he could ever possibly use so he buried them in the sand to save for a rainy day.
And, as reported quite exhaustively in The Times article:
In five of six incidents in which troops were wounded by chemical agents, the munitions appeared to have been designed in the United States, manufactured in Europe and filled in chemical agent production lines built in Iraq by Western companies.
Something, perhaps, to keep in mind the next time you hear a talking head screaming “Arm the Rebels.”
As Dok Zoom snarks:
To have announced that we were finding these suckers would have required Bush to say that he’d discovered where Saddam got his chemical weapons, and then, presumably, we’d have to bomb some American and European defense contractors. Even when the Pentagon did announce that some weapons had been found, it scrupulously avoided talking about where they came from . . .
So. The story, itself, is an important one, even if some people entirely miss the point. It should and will be read and might possibly be instrumental in getting some belated degree of justice for the injured vets. What it will never do is vindicate the Bush administration for the catastrophically damaging and unnecessary war that they lied the world into.
And, just for the record, I heartily agree with Steve Benen who said:
The fact that Republicans still don’t want to come to terms with this really isn’t healthy.