Shades of the Twilight Zone

Posted: Jul 19, 2003 12:00 AM

 When I talked to Democrats and listened to their spokesmen on TV following the Bush-Gore post-election battles, I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone. Now, with the Democrats' take on the war against Iraq, I'm getting that feeling again.

 One author wrote that "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus." But what about Democrats and Republicans or liberals and conservatives?

 Seriously, it amazes me, from time to time, just how differently we view the world. We experience history together, looking at exactly the same events yet often coming to entirely different conclusions.

 Just think of some of the major events in the last half-century. Was America's intervention in the Vietnam War justified to stop the expansion of totalitarian communism or imperialistic intermeddling in a civil war? Were America's cultural elites really committed to opposing the Soviet Union during the Cold War, as they now claim, or were they communist sympathizers? If they'd had their way, would we have prevailed in the Cold War?

 Speaking of the Cold War, was Ronald Reagan instrumental in America's victory and Mikhail Gorbachev a reluctant obstacle until the very end, or was Reagan a jingoistic bully and Gorbachev the enlightened progressive whose glasnost and perestroika ended the Soviet's reign of terror?

 Were the Reagan Eighties a period of prosperity where the financial well being of all income groups in America greatly improved or a decade of greed? Was Bill Clinton responsible for the economic prosperity of the Nineties, or was that period a continuation of a longer boom beginning in the Eighties and only possible because the 1994 Republican Congress saved Clinton from his own excesses?

 Were the Clinton scandals "high crimes" or much ado about nothing? Was Ken Starr a committed public servant or a man preoccupied with Clinton's sexual peccadilloes?

 Is there a legitimate debate in the scientific community about the existence, severity, cause and effects of global warming? If it turns out that this phenomenon has been overblown, how will the history books record the moralistic, alarmist rantings of the intelligentsia? How do history books today record the rantings of this same class of people who were just as sure a generation ago that global cooling was the world-threatening menace?

 Will the anti-abortionists later be seen as having occupied the moral high ground on the life issue, or will the pro-abortionists be remembered as noble champions of women's freedom and dignity?

 Will Enron type scandals be recorded as symptomatic of a greedy, capitalistic system or an aberration in a mostly ethical business environment?

 Will the Gore-Democrats be seen as having tried every conceivable legal shenanigan to steal the 2000 presidential election, or will the Republicans be regarded as election felons through their so-called enablers on the United States Supreme Court?

 Now, fast forward to the present and the controversy over Iraq. When I listen to Democrats accusing President Bush of deceit about Iraqi WMDs and painting him as a murderer of thousands of Americans and Iraqis to justify his preconceived, neoconservative, imperialistic war, I find myself right back in the Twilight Zone. Again, how can we witness the same events and come to such radically different conclusions?

 Many rank-and-file Democrats might not know better, but their leaders do. They were privy to the same intelligence Bush was, and they know that Saddam had WMDs and used them, that he repeatedly violated U.N. resolutions, that he kicked out U.N. inspectors, that he filed a fraudulent report, that he directed his scientists to bury evidence, that he had a mobile chemical lab, that he harbored and otherwise aided terrorists, and that he was himself a terrorist.

 They know the Bush administration didn't base its decision to attack Iraq on the disputed report that it tried to purchase uranium from Niger and that Congress had already voted for the war resolution prior to that allegation surfacing. Indeed they know there is still credible evidence that this intelligence is true and that Britain stands behind it. They know that Bush did not hype the evidence against Iraq.

 But as with the 2000 election, reacquiring the White House is far more important than the truth. If anyone is guilty of deceit, it's the Democratic leaders who have once again unconscionably sent their followers into the farthest reaches of the Twilight Zone. There, they stew in bitterness and confusion wondering why the majority of people don't view President Bush as a scoundrel instead of the man of faith and character they believe him to be.