Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Dubya, Occam, & Lessons from Günter

I caught the Günter Grass segment last night with The Most Annoying Interviewer having the Best Possible Format. Günter was there to discuss his memoir, Peeling the Onion and, when Charlie wasn't talking over him, he spoke of growing up in Hitler's Germany and about "... the questions he didn't ask ...". About an uncle of his that worked in the Polish post office who was shot by the Germans and who was never mentioned by his family again. About a teacher who was taken away from the school.

When asked about Hitler he said, "Hitler was for us like a (?), when something was going wrong, people would said, if the Fuhrer would know this he would change this immediately, yes he was beside every any critic, it was a picture, a picture and this, my generation did grow up with this terrible belief, belief in one thing, and no doubt enough, no doubt enough if we are not teached in doubt".

Grass has taken a bit of flak for his late admission that he was a member of the Waffen SS. Never mind that it was only for a matter of months at the end of the war, that there's no data to suggest that his unit committed any atrocities and that he claims to have never even fired his weapon. That he was only seventeen. That he was six when Hitler came to power and only 12 when the war began. That he was raised on the pablum of German, Nazi, nationalistic propaganda. In hindsight, he has no right to have taken so long to come to terms with, and reveal, his youthful ignorance. No, he should have his Nobel prize stripped, his honorary Polish citizenship revoked. His critics compared him, unfavorably, to Willie Brandt who, as a member of the Socialist Worker's Party, fought against the Nazi ideology and escaped Germany to avoid Nazi persecution. Never mind that Brandt was thirteen years older than Grass. Hindsight and righteousness.

No doubt. No questions. Is the pablum dispensed by the right in our country today much different? Criticism is unpatriotic. Don't question. Don't doubt. How will we, as a people, be viewed sixty years from now? Too few asked questions and none (in power) demanded answers. Questions about Bush's ascendancy to the throne, their collective deceit, incompetence and cover-up of the pre-9/11 failures, their machinations that brought us to this disastrous occupation called the Iraq War or about any number of this administration's other, likely criminal, activities.

And now we have the commutation of Scooter's sentence. Questions, anyone? How about why a commutation rather than a pardon? Surely a pardon would be better for his pal Scooter and one could hardly argue (legitimately) that Bush would take less criticism for a commutation? Well, here's where old Occam's razor helps us out - the simplest explanation.

It's better for Bush. With a commutation he may be obstructing justice but Libby can still plead the 5th if called on to testify in any further investigations. It's called cover-up and it's nothing new. It should come as no surprise to anyone. This is what Republicans do. They commit crimes against persons and country, they cover up their crimes, sometimes they get caught and then they pardon or, in this case, commute then pardon. Does anybody seriously believe that Scooter will not be pardoned after Cheney thinks they are safe from impeachment/prosecution?

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