Time For A Reality Check

By:  Rachel Marsden

NEW YORK - Gather around kids, it's time to run a reality check on this week's leftist myths and spin.

Myth: "Second Hanging Also Went Awry, Iraq Tape Shows" (New York Times headline, Jan. 16, 2007)

Reality: This headline refers to the hanging of Saddam Hussein's half-brother who was the former head of Hussein's secret police. It also conveniently implies Saddam's own execution was botched. The guy's dead. Sounds like a success to me.

Thanks to a cellphone camcorder and YouTube, Iraqis also have proof he isn't coming back. In an interview with PBS' NewsHour, President George W. Bush says the executions were "fumbled" and prove the new Iraqi government "has still got some maturation to do." No kidding. In a mature democracy, we call this kind of thing "DVD bonus footage," not a mistake.

When Saddam's brother was inadvertently decapitated (thereby making him an obvious half-brother) during the execution, the New York Times whined: "The hangmen's calculations of weight, gravity and the momentum needed to snap their necks ... appeared, in Mr. Ibrahim's case, to have gone seriously awry."

Bush should have just said that the Iraqis could use some better math textbooks. Would great former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, for example, have lamented a genocidal maniac morphing into a Pez dispenser as his final trick? Somehow, I doubt that a woman who said, "I seem to smell the stench of appeasement in the air," would have cared what her detractors thought. (When David Beckham brings his "golden balls" to the USA, maybe he can also bring some for Bush?)

Myth: Cuba's health care system is one of the best in the world.

Reality: This relentless mantra of the left has been endlessly propagated by various media reports and by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, who called the system "superb" in a 2002 address from the University of Havana.

In recent days, we've been treated to Cuban government footage of Fidel Castro doing seniors aerobics in a track suit. By seniors aerobics, I mean talking on the phone while looking pale. Presumably, that's supposed to convince us he's in great shape, and hasn't just become a fan of Ali G and London's white trash "chav" subculture, for which a track suit is the official uniform.

Personally, I'm holding out for some Jack Palance-style one-arm pushups while he holds up today's paper.

But while the world is busy sweatin' with Fidel on nightly newscasts, Britain's Daily Mail reports Castro is being treated in Spain, by his Spanish surgeon. I suppose there's no point white-knuckling it with the Comrade Care back home if you don't have to.

Myth: The Democrats have a plan for Iraq.

Reality: The Democrats have a plan for Iraq, much like the slob sitting on the couch hoovering Doritos has a plan to win the Super Bowl. If Democrats were really serious about opposing Bush, they would introduce an amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill. Otherwise, all this talk of resolutions and oversight is nothing more than political Masterputz Theatre.

You can't start scrubbing down the walls while the kiddies are still flinging around spaghetti. Bush has to make one last push with this latest troop increase to speed up terrorist liquidation before liberals can fulfil their dream of having soldiers engage in kitten petting and Iraqi police hand-holding. Everyone knows that's for the UN to screw up later.

Besides, how hard can it really be to train Iraqi police? Just point a shotgun in the general direction of the problem and let 'er rip.