« THE TAWDRY SAUDI DC SWAMP | Main | CHANGING LOCATIONS »

THE TRUTH ABOUT LIES

FROM NORTH AMERICA SYNDICATE, 300 W 57th STREET, 41st FLOOR, NEW YORK, NY 10019
CUSTOMER SERVICE: (800) 708-7311 EXT. 236
BOB FRANKEN
FOR RELEASE TUESDAY, OCT. 23, 2018

THE TRUTH ABOUT LIES
---
It’s not that our leaders lie -- that’s how most of them got to be leaders in the first place. What’s galling is that they don’t even make much of an effort to gloss over their falsehoods. Even as they routinely tell their made-up stories with a straight face, they know that nobody believes them, and they don’t care, really.
As the man once said, all the world’s a stage, and the worst of the prevaricators (I love that word!) are scattered all over the planet. In fact, the worst of the worst combine their duplicity with brutality in order to maintain power. Right now, the world stage features a tragic drama set in ... well, it’s actually set in three locations: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul; and Washington, D.C. It opens in Istanbul, where the leading man -- Jamal Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post -- is killed and allegedly mutilated in the Saudi Consulate. That sets off a worldwide outrage, more than the Saudi perps could have imagined.


ADVERTISEMENT

The scene immediately shifts to Riyadh and Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, affectionately known as MBS. He’s not so affectionately known as a brutal thug. Khashoggi had made him furious by daring, in his columns, to question him and his decisions. MBS also is sensitive to criticism. In fact, it sends him into a murderous rage. But he spends most of this saga trying to avoid the spotlight and doing what so many leaders do when they’re in trouble: He lies.
What he doesn’t do is lie well. He and his accomplices clumsily deny the obvious. In the face of overwhelming evidence, they insisted for awhile that Khashoggi did not die on their property and, even if he did, it wasn’t at the hands of a brutal hit squad that they dispatched.
But then they change their story. Well, maybe, they concede, perhaps Jamal Khashoggi did die in their consulate, but it was the result of a “fistfight,” a “brawl” that erupted, after which he ended up dead.
That claim turned this entire production into a really dark comedy, based on the laughter it got everywhere. In the U.S., politicians ranging from Sen. Lindsey Graham to Sen. Tim Kaine ridiculed the latest Saudi version.
Even President Donald Trump is finding it hard to believe, although his immediate reaction was to find it “credible.” But then, after seeing how it played, he pulled a Trump waffle to “obviously there’s been deception, and there’s been lies.”
Donald Trump knows from lies. He’s a world champion. In fact, if the Saudis were not long-established champs themselves in the deception game, they might use some pointers from Trump. Perhaps when he gets around to it, he can have his ghostwriters create another memoir, called “The Art of the Lie.” He can sympathize with the Saudis, particularly since he’s had long-standing financial dealings with them, which he denies (of course).
Here is where history’s autocrats follow the same script. They tell a blatant lie and get caught in their falsehood. So they change their story. Trump does it so often that the White House should be renamed the “Waffle House.” But there’s nothing syrupy about him. Much like the other Waffle House hash browns, his litany of lies is served “covered” and “smothered,” and only sometimes “peppered” with the truth. When he tells his whoppers (yeah, I know that’s Burger King; I’m into fine dining), he then proceeds to either change his story or insist that he never told it in the first place.
Any efforts to confront him with proof is deflected as “fake news.” And now he’s getting more brazen, suggesting that it’s a good thing to rough up reporters. Much has been made of how he’s inspiring so many dictators to brutalize journalists. Maybe, though, he’s really inspired by them. Never mind how irresponsible it is, it’s another way of whipping up anger among the aggrieved millions of people in his base, the ones who are thrilled by his blatant lies. For all of us, the midterm elections are approaching. They should provide this country with its moment of truth.

© 2018 Bob Franken
Distributed by King Features Syndicate,

About

This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 23, 2018 8:27 AM.

The previous post in this blog was THE TAWDRY SAUDI DC SWAMP.

The next post in this blog is CHANGING LOCATIONS.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Subscribe



Enter your Email


Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz