The left’s whoppers |

The left’s whoppers

I always get giddy when the Times graces us with a Sue Gray missive, primarily because it offers grand opportunities to slay the ideological demons of the Bush-hating left through the proxy of highlighting their problems with truth and fact.

Respect for “truth and fact,” of course, is something the anti-Bush conspiriati have convinced themselves is anathema to anyone who doesn’t accept their zany politics. Yet despite the religious fervor of their convictions (or perhaps because of it), the anti-war puritans have proven more than willing to march undaunted into a wilderness of dubious assertions, anecdotes and misrepresentations. Check out a few of the most recent whoppers:

“Vice President Cheney still owns stock in Haliburton, he will personally benefit from the $292 million in Iraq-related revenue reported for the quarter ended June 30.” In point of fact, Cheney sold nearly all his stock in Haliburton in the summer of 2000. All profits off retained options go to charity.

“Prior to the war Iraq had . an advanced communications system, a highly regarded educational system and modern hospitals.” In truth, Iraq has one of the least advanced communications systems in the world. There are only three telephone lines per 100 inhabitants and Iraq is one of the few nations without a wireless network in its capital. Their educational system is so “highly regarded” that 42 percent of Iraqis are illiterate. The hospitals lack even the most basic drugs or functioning equipment. Half-a-million Iraqi children died as Hussein rejected U.S. offers of money to rehabilitate them.

“Iraq has over 130,000 engineers . when the Coalition Provisional Authority wanted estimates for the cost of replacing the New Diyala Bridge in Baghdad, a prominent Iraqi engineering company submitted a bid of $300,000 [but] the bridge contract was given to an American company whose estimate was around $50 million!”

Why aren’t we given the names of this “prominent” Iraqi company or the evil American one who snuffed it out? Because the source of this claim is nothing more than an anonymous and wholly unverified assertion now circulating in the anti-war Internet underground which Gray copied nearly word for word.

A distinguished economist named Joseph Schumpeter once pointed out that the only person’s motivation we really know is our own – and that what we project onto others provides, at best, clues as to our own motives. Remember that next time you read a Sue Gray letter interlaced with accusations of lying and spreading falsehoods – against everyone but herself.

Jay Pate

Snowmass Village

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