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Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma, Tonga

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Tone-deaf in the "civilized world"

Vice-President Cheney's Remarks at Reception for Survivors of Auschwitz, Galicia Jewish Museum, Krakow, Poland, 26 January 2005:

I will remind them these great evils of history were perpetuated not in some remote uncivilized part of the world, but in the very heart of the civilized world.

I wonder how this statement-- and the arch, ethnocentric, uninformed sentiment behind it-- plays in the "remote, uncivilized part of the world." Whatever that may be. With dismaying frequency, the major players in this administration show themselves to be completely tone-deaf, unable or unwilling to listen to the way they sound to the rest of the world outside the 51 percent of the United States voters who supported Bush.

Men without conscience are capable of any cruelty the human mind can imagine.

Don't we know it!

Therefore we must teach every generation the values of tolerance and decency and moral courage.
Tolerance has gotten short attention lately, no? But decency and moral courage (as opposed to some other kind of courage? or immoral courage?) have been used as marketing tools, privatized, and then out-sourced to the least tolerant supporters of the Bush administration.

And in every generation, free nations must maintain the will, the foresight and the strength to fight tyranny and spread the freedom that leads to peace.
I know what that kind of statement used to mean, and I know that it carries a menacing aspect now. My, how important context is!

Our presence in Krakow today, together with our European and Israeli friends, shows our determination to oppose anti-Semitism, religious intolerance, bigotry and genocide. We must face down hatred together. We are dedicated to the task at hand, and we will never forget.
Let's not forget that other religious and ethnic minorities, along with gays and lesbians, were persecuted and killed in the name of nationalistic purity. Can he not hear what he is saying? Does he think that the Muslim world is not listening?

Let he who makes peace in the heavens grant peace to all of us. Thank you very much for joining us.
Interesting that the White House website press release here does NOT follow usual tradition of capitalizing the H in "He" to identify the reference to G_d. (I suppose I can forgive him for his gender bias.) Unless... here's a funny thought... perhaps the V.P. was not thinking of G_d, but of someone else. Someone chosen by G_d to lead a nation. Someone whom G_d told to make war.

I bet that a "he" like that could make peace in the heavens.

Somehow, I don't like the sound of that at all.