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By Bill Gallagher

DETROIT -- Cynicism is the soul of George W. Bush's presidency and Karl Rove, the man he calls his "brain," speaks out loud the thoughts lurking in the president's ruthless but muddled mind. Rove is the most vile, despicable, duplicitous, power-addicted, war-mongering, lying neo-fascist in the administration, save Dick Cheney and the man who lets them run the government for him.

Rove's cynicism is a perfect reflection of Bush's jaded mind and willingness to say and do anything to grab and preserve power. If that means sending young men and women to die in an illegal, unnecessary war against the wrong enemy, Rove figures, so what?

His only political dimension dwells on hate, distrust and division, and using those raw emotions to manipulate and control the masses. In Rove's world, the war in Iraq was a brilliant political move that salvaged Bush's faltering presidency, secured a second term and assured a rubber-stamp Republican Congress.

Rove's supreme cynicism reached a new summit last week when he told an audience at a New York Conservative Party dinner that the Democratic Party and liberals just didn't understand the consequences of the Sept. 11 attacks.

"Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of he 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers," Rove said. He is a barbaric partisan trying to cloak himself in patriotism, slurring people in the process. What he said is absurd.

Rove's cynicism has a putrid odor. Some smells just stick in your nose, and, as much as you'd like to forget them, the stench endures. The sight of Rove makes me cringe and hold my nose. He believes in nothing but power, and will deceive and lie to keep it.

In his body, devotion to straw-man arguments and impeccable credentials as a "chickenhawk," Rove is essentially Rush Limbaugh with a White House office.

Rush must have shared some of his pills with Rove when Bush's deputy chief of staff went on his incredible rant accusing liberals of coddling terrorists. Karl Rove has no shame and his performance was right out of Joe McCarthy's playbook.

Can Rove or any of the Busheviks point to a single Democrat or liberal who wanted to "offer therapy" to the people behind he 9/11 attacks? That's a damnable lie that Bush is letting his "brain" utter to slam the opposition, and divert attention from the quagmire in Iraq.

Most Americans and our allies around the world supported going into Afghanistan, where Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda murderers had set up camp under the protection of the Taliban government. They brought us the 9/11 attacks and pose an ongoing threat to our national security. The pursuit of bin Laden and his terrorists enjoyed nearly universal approval, especially from Democrats and liberals.

But when Bush morphed that legitimate cause into invading Iraq and toppling Saddam Hussein, who had nothing to do with the attacks, many liberals and even a few clear-thinking conservatives opposed the madness.

Now Rove and Bush are caught up in their lie, and public support for the savagery in Iraq has eroded significantly. The consequences of the invasion and occupation of Iraq are disastrous. We not fighting terrorists; we're creating them.

Bush, who loves to call himself a "war president," is waging a war that is threatening our national security and assures another, more virulent generation of terrorists who hate America and will bring us more harm.

The New York Times reports a classified assessment prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency found "Iraq may prove to be an even more effective training ground for Islamic extremists than Afghanistan was in Al Qaeda's early days, because it is serving as a real-world laboratory for urban combat." The chilling report offers an ominous conclusion about the consequences of Bush's unnecessary war fought for fabricated reasons. Intelligence and congressional officials who spoke to the Times made it clear that "the war was likely to produce a dangerous legacy by dispersing to other countries Iraqi and foreign combatants more adept and better organized than they were before the conflict."

Rove used the war to sell Bush as a determined and courageous leader protecting our freedom at home and planting it in Iraq. What we have instead is unending violence and turmoil and a schoolyard for terrorists who flock to Iraq "to learn how to carry out assassinations, kidnapping, car bombings and other kinds of attacks," as the Times reports.

We ran bin Laden out of Afghanistan and essentially gave him Iraq to train new terrorist recruits. It's difficult to imagine anything crazier, but for Karl Rove, it worked for his purpose of keeping his boy in the Oval Office.

CIA Director Porter Goss says he has an "excellent idea" where bin Laden is holed up, but we're not going after him because we must respect diplomatic niceties. In an interview with "Time" magazine, Goss said, "When you go to the question of dealing with sanctuaries in sovereign states, you're dealing with a problem of our sense of international obligation and fair play."

Goss is surely talking about Pakistan. Bin Laden is widely believed be hiding in the mountains near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. So the Bush administration is refusing to go after the man responsible for masterminding and financing the 9/11 attacks because we don't want to offend Pakistan and because of our sense of "fair play." This absurdity from the same people who trampled on international law, invaded the sovereign state of Iraq, and removed Saddam Hussein, who didn't have a damn thing to do with 9/11.

Dick Cheney left his bunker and chimed in, telling CNN he too had bin Laden in sight. "We've got a pretty good idea of the general area that he's in, but I, you know, I don't have the street address," Cheney said. Why don't you ask Saddam Hussein, Dick? Cheney told the lie of a Saddam-al Qaeda connection so often, he continues to spout it long after the fraud has been thoroughly discredited.

Cheney's been acting especially daffy and delusional these days. He must have gone to a pill-popping party with Rush and Rove. While everyone with eyes to see knows Iraq is in turmoil and the violence shows no sign of ebbing, Cheney insists the insurgency in Iraq is in its "last throes." Cheney, as usual, didn't offer a scintilla of evidence to support his wildly unfounded assertion.

Cheney wouldn't back down from his delusion, even after our commander in the Middle East, Gen. John Abizaid, offered a dose of reality and told a congressional committee the insurgency was as strong as ever and the military has "a lot of work" remaining to defeat it.

"Editor and Publisher's" Greg Mitchell has a trenchant read on the vice president's behavior. "Is it just me, or is Vice President Cheney, who repeated Thursday that the Iraq insurgency is in its final throes, starting to sound liked former Saddam spokesman, 'Baghdad Bob'? Is it time to start calling him 'D.C. Dick'?" Mitchell's referring to Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf, who optimistically assured everyone things were going quite well and the Iraqi army was winning as U.S. forces rolled into Baghdad. It is just as ludicrous to suggest the insurgents are in their final days of battle, as "D.C. Dick" does.

Even with Cheney's laughable assurances and Rove's lies, the American people have finally caught on. Most now know the war was a horrible mistake and that the Busheviks and their comrades in the media lied relentlessly to gain public support for it.

Polls show 60 percent of the American people now favor a troop withdrawal. Bush's approval rating has plunged to a hair above 40 percent. That's the lowest for a second-term president since Richard Nixon when he was caught in his crimes. Bush's are much worse and have done considerably more harm to the nation and the world.

Our fearless commander in chief will try to drum up support for staying the course in Iraq in a speech slated for Tuesday night.

The setting? Why, of course, a military base: Fort Bragg, N.C., where everyone in the audience will cheer and scream on cue and Bush will repeat the lie of the ages, that the war in Iraq is a response to the 9/11 attacks and will make the nation safer from terrorists.

He'll praise the troops and tell some folksy anecdotes, and vow that, as your "war president," he won't waver. The plan is working, he'll insist.

But the Downing Street Memo taught us that, not only was U.S. intelligence "fixed" to buttress the phony case against Iraq, but even knowing Saddam was going to be easy to oust, the administration had given little thought to what would happen in the "aftermath after military action."

But the carnage in Iraq doesn't really matter in the most cynical White House in American history. The senseless war got Bush another term and that's all he and Karl Rove cared about. They like war. Their children are alive.

Bill Gallagher, a Peabody Award winner, is a former Niagara Falls city councilman who now covers Detroit for Fox2 News. His e-mail address is gallaghernewsman@sbcglobal.net.

Niagara Falls Reporter www.niagarafallsreporter.com June 28 2005