Cheney At Auschwitz:
Dick Cheney knows evil is real. So he told an audience in Krakow, Poland, the city in the shadow of two concentration camps, at the 60th anniversary memorial of the liberation of Auschwitz. Said the Vice President, "The story of the camps reminds us that evil is real, and must be called by its name, and must be confronted. We are reminded that anti-Semitism may begin with words, but rarely stops with words, and the message of intolerance and hatred must be opposed before it turns into acts of horror." At the ceremonies, sometimes huddled in the snow, sometimes in an auditorium, were Holocaust survivors, world leaders. The presidents of Poland and Russia spoke, but Germany's Horst Koehler remained silent and listened, for, indeed, what could he say.

At the outdoor ceremony, at the gate of the camp, through which no one knows how many hundreds of thousands of people passed on the way to gas chamber, the crematoriums, the world leaders sat in the falling snow wearing black overcoats, muted clothing and hats. Dick Cheney wore a green parka, embroidered with his name, with a bright fur-lined hood and a knit ski cap with the words "Staff 2001" on it. At least it didn't say "FCUK." As Robin Givhan wrote in the Washington Post, it was "the kind of attire one typically wears to operate a snow blower." One could argue, and one might, that Cheney was the only one who had dressed appropriately for the weather. But, you know, in the camps, the prisoners clung to each other in their threadbare outfits, curled next to each other, their thin flesh and bones providing scant warmth, hoping they didn't lose too many digits to the frozen Polish winter. Since their pain and despair was what Cheney was there to commemorate, perhaps a black wool overcoat would have been more, let's say, appropriate, if not quite as comfy.

The next day, Dick Cheney did wear a black overcoat when he privately toured the camp, his first visit to Auschwitz since 1975. Cheney walked past the preserved brick bunkhouses, the fences. He was shown the place where disobedient prisoners were hanged and left to dangle for all to see. He was taken to see the pile of hair, shorn off the prisoners to prevent lice, to insult them. Cheney breathed in deeply, feeling he could still inhale the scent of old European perfumes and sweat. God, how soft Himmler's pillows must have been, Cheney thought. He placed a bouquet of red, white, and blue flowers against the Wall of Death, where so many Jews were shot down. America cares, the bouquet telegraphed, we're here and we care.

Cheney was taken to the rubble where Crematorium I once stood. Nodding, a bit cold for lack of a furry hood, he asked his tour guide and his daughter Liz to leave him alone for a moment. Of course, of course, they said, seeing in Dick Cheney a man who bears the burden of fighting evil around the world, of course he could have a moment alone at what was essentially a mass grave. Who would not want such brief graces in the face of such horror, such madness. Alone, snow sticking to him, Cheney inhaled again. He said a thankful prayer that the Holocaust had happened because no matter how much murder and death the Bush administration might inflict on the Middle East, any comparison to this would make his crimes pale. Indeed, for men such as Cheney, the Holocaust always offers a respite: they may be bad, but they're not Nazi-bad.

A strange, but not unexpected stirring occurred in his pants. Cheney smirked. As Lynne knows, nothing gets Cheney up quite like images of torture and death. On the flat screen TV above their bed, Dick Cheney runs a montage of Abu Ghraib and Gitmo pictures. It's better than Viagra for Dick Cheney. At Auschwitz, Cheney looked around, making sure he was really, truly free of everyone, even his Secret Service detail. He reached his hand deep into his pants pocket and started fondling himself. He closed his eyes and thought about the perfection of the place, the process, from railcar to shower to cremation so quickly, so smoothly, save the healthy ones to bury the bones, build the SS's swimming pool. Save the children for Mengele. Cheney was hard, really hard, fully, his cock stonily erect, even in the sub-freezing wind. Finally, Cheney unzipped, thinking Hitler had the right idea: sometimes a brave government needs to decide that a certain people needs to be eliminated for the good of the living. God, what a fantasy, what power, how simple, if barbaric, a solution, oh, how fucking cost-effective. Cheney came as he thought of telling Rumsfeld to base the permanent prison buildings at Guantanamo on the Auschwitz model. His penis dribbled a bit of sour semen onto the Crematorium's remains. When Liz walked back to him, she saw her father's reddened face, bloodshot eyes, and kissed his head, telling him, "Yes, it is so sad." Cheney, catching his breath, nodded and allowed himself to be led away.

It is a burden, you know, to understand evil - truly, really understand it. You are left with only a couple of options: to fight it or to join it. Said Cheney in Krakow, "The death camps were created by men with a high opinion of themselves - some of them well educated, and possessed of refined manners - but without conscience. And where there is no conscience, there is no tolerance toward others ... no defense against evil ... and no limit to the crimes that follow." So true, so true, that real evil is a malevolence that can explain and justify its ways so that others will allow it to continue, unabated.