Sunday, July 24, 2005

Permanent Irony

Cognitive dissonance, or simple hypocrisy? You decide. From a reprint of last year's Bush Memorial Day proclamation, posted on Paul William Roberts' now-moribund website:

" In respect for their devotion to America, the Congress,by a joint resolution approved on May 11, 1950, as amended (64 Stat. 158), has requested the President to issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace and designating a period on that day when the people of the United States might unite in prayer. The Congress, by Public Law 106-579, has also designated the minute beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time on that day as a time for all Americans to observe the National Moment of Remembrance.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Memorial Day, May 31, 2004, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11:00 a.m. of that day as a time to unite in prayer."

twainlogo Whew! Just one day out of the year. No danger of achieving those ends anytime soon.

It reminds me of Mark Twain's essay in Letters From The Earth, in which he mocked how people pray: outwardly requesting for show the very opposite of that which they truly desire. As Bush and his cronies rattle their sabres in a circle around the world, first at Korea, then Syria, then Iran, then who knows where else, do they really comport themselves as people who actively seek and work for peace? Do any of us really believe, after they lied, cheated and stole their way into this so-desperately desired war, that any of them wants peace? Not 60% of us.

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