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Inside the System

June 6, 2003 | Page 4

He's ready for his close-up

"IF SOME tinhorn terrorist wants me, tell him to come and get me! I'll be at home! Waiting for the bastard!" Was this Dubya talking tough on September 11? Nope. It's a scene from a Toronto sound stage.

The hammy dialogue was recently filmed for The Big Dance, a two-hour television movie to be broadcast this September. The movie is being promoted as the all-but-official White House account of the "war on terror." It's easy to see why. A copy of the script shows that the main character is a nearly infallible, heroic president, a tendency for giving articulate, off-the-cuff speeches.

Lionel Chetwynd, the film's creator, is a Hollywood Republican and White House insider. "My own view of the administration is somewhat more sympathetic than, say, Alec Baldwin's," said Chetwynd.

According to reports, Chetwynd's script is based on lengthy interviews with Bush, Rove, White House aide Andrew Card, Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other Republican officials in the White House and the Pentagon. He claims that every scene and line of dialogue was described to him by an insider or taken from "credible" reports.

But in the movie, Bush delivers long, stirring speeches that immediately become policy. "We start with [al-Qaeda terror chief Osama] bin Laden," says Dubya, the character. "That's what the American people will expect. Getting him will be a huge blow for our side. So let's build a coalition for that job. Later, we can shape different coalitions for different tasks."

At one point, arguing with Democratic Party officials about the war, he delivers the line: "I won't be seeking a declaration of war. With a shadowy enemy, specificity makes that problematic." This from the same man who's known for saying, "Is our children learning?"

Toronto Globe and Mail, May 28, 2003

Heard it through the grapevine

"LIBERALS DON'T care about the environment. The core of environmentalism is a hatred for mankind. They want mass infanticide, zero population growth, reduced standards of living and vegetarianism."
--Right-wing lunatic Ann Coulter

"THIS VIEW of Hillary Clinton as a dyed-in-the-wool leftist is a caricature. Anyone who is surprised about her views on welfare reform and the war was not paying attention during the campaign."
--Howard Wolfson, an adviser to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.)

"I THINK war is a dangerous place."
--George W. Bush

"WE'VE GOT hundreds of sites to exploit, looking for the chemical and biological weapons that we know Saddam Hussein had prior to our entrance into Iraq."

"FIRST, LET me make it very clear, poor people aren't necessarily killers. Just because you happen to be not rich doesn't mean you're willing to kill."

"WE ENDED the rule of one of history's worst tyrants, and in so doing, we not only freed the American people, we made our own people more secure."

"YOU MAY not like the word, but what's happening is occupation. Holding 3.5 million Palestinians is a bad thing for Israel, for the Palestinians and for the Israeli economy."
--Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon

"WHEN HE used the expression 'occupation' at yesterday's meeting...he meant that we do not want to rule over the Palestinian population in the areas in dispute."
--A statement the next day retracting Sharon's use of the word "occupation"

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