“I live in Washington where lying is an art form,” David J. Rothkopf wrote on the Foreign Policy website.
Before enumerating the most egregious US lies of 2011, Rothkopf divides the fallacious statements uttered by Washington into three categories.
Some, he says, are known for their “subtlety”, like President Barack Obama wanting to get special interests out of American politics. They “almost” feel true, Rothkopf says.
Others stand out for their “audacity”, like Newt Gingrich bringing down communism.
And last but not least are those which capture our attention for being offered with a “straight face,” like Mitt Romney saying he has deeply held political convictions.
Rothkopf, however, says among the plethora of US mendacious claims there are some which are most outstanding.
“They are the big lies that have defined our times,” he says, proceeding to catalogue those fibs.
1. “The war in Iraq is finally over after nine years.”
Rothkopf notes the US has been militarily engaged in Iraq since the early 1990 and this will likely be just the end of another installment in the long running series of US warmongering policies in the region.
2. “America’s mission in Iraq was a success.”
He expresses astonishment at such a claim while Iraq is divided, undemocratic, corrupt, and the US invasion has cost USD1 trillion, thousands of US lives, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives, and its national reputation. US war in Iraq bears greater semblance to a full-scale “fiasco”, he says.
3. “We are winning in Afghanistan.”
Rothkopf describes this one as a hot from the oven “howler” by the US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. Washington has strengthened the region’s extremists and the threat of instability in nuclear Pakistan is now actually higher than it was when US went in, he says.
4. Tie: “Pakistan is America’s ally” and “Afghanistan is America’s partner.”
Neither Pakistan nor Afghanistan can by any “credible definition” be called a US ally. This is attested to by the animosity of Islamabad towards Washington and Kabul’s belittling of the US on the world stage, Rothkopf says.
5. “America is unthreatened by China’s growth.”
A “prayer” by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Rothkopf says. “It should be true. But it’s not,” he adds.
6. Tie: “Republicans are the problem” and “Democrats are the problem.”
Rothkopf dubs this one as “the great lie of American politics.” He says the problem with US politics is not the parties, but the money. “The system is so resolutely corrupt that recent scandals have only resulted in more money flowing into the system and past reforms being undone,” he notes.
7. “Cutting the taxes of millionaires helps create US jobs.”
There is not even one single solitary shred of evidence to support this “idiotic” suggestion, Rothkopf notes.
8. “This next summit of European leaders will be decisive …”
Rothkopf says despite the fact that this claim has been made every few weeks for the past months, the “supposedly sophisticated financial markets” of the United States continue to fall for it.
9. “The Obama administration is committed to serious financial services reform.”
The US financial system is still plagued by all the threats that instigated the 2008 recession. “Not an inch of progress,” Rothkopf says.
10. “Only nine percent of Americans approve of Congress.”
“This can’t possibly be true. There can’t possibly be that many,” Rothkopf says in a stinging sarcastic tone.
11. “The operation in Libya will be over in a matter of days or weeks.”
Rothkopf says the operation was wrong to begin with, “and then wrong and then wrong again for months.”
12. “I love Israel.”
Even though everyone in US politics makes such an assertion, nobody really means it, Rothkopf notes. What the politicians really mean, however, is that “I want American Jews to think I love Israel enough to vote for me and give me money,” he says.
“Those are just a few of a bumper year for duplicity, mendacity, and craven misstatements,” Rothkopf concludes.