The Dance of the Wicked:
For some reason, the end of the 1857 Grimms' version of "Snow White" has been floating around in the Rude Pundit's head:

"Snow-White's godless stepmother was also invited to the feast. After putting on her beautiful clothes she stepped before her mirror and said:
Mirror, mirror, on the wall,
Who in this land is fairest of all?

"The mirror answered:
You, my queen, are fair; it is true.
But the young queen is a thousand times fairer than you.

"The wicked woman uttered a curse, and she became so frightened, so frightened, that she did not know what to do. At first she did not want to go to the wedding, but she found no peace. She had to go and see the young queen. When she arrived she recognized Snow-White, and terrorized, she could only stand there without moving.

"Then they put a pair of iron shoes into burning coals. They were brought forth with tongs and placed before her. She was forced to step into the red-hot shoes and dance until she fell down dead."

And so it was that President Bush went to Oak Ridge National Laboratory yesterday and spoke on how the war with Iraq was justified without weapons of mass destruction: "Three years ago, the ruler of Iraq was a sworn enemy of America, who provided safe haven for terrorists, used weapons of mass destruction, and turned his nation into a prison. Saddam Hussein was not just a dictator; he was a proven mass murderer who refused to account for weapons of mass murder . . . Although we have not found stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, we were right to go into Iraq. We removed a declared enemy of America, who had the capability of producing weapons of mass murder, and could have passed that capability to terrorists bent on acquiring them."

As the Senate Intelligence Committee report demonstrates how reckless the policy of pre-emptive war is, as the upcoming 9/11 commission report re-affirms the lack of an Iraq/al-Qaeda connection, all Bush can do is bring on the fear: "I had a choice to make: Either take the word of a madman, or defend America. Given that choice, I will defend America every time." But more and more, it seems that the madman was telling the truth. And what does that say about America under the "leadership" of George W. Bush?

All the Rude Pundit can say is, "Put on these fucking shoes, and dance, motherfucker, dance."