03 July 2005
Details, details, details
I was faced with a choice this past Tuesday evening: watch W's latest tap dance about Iraq, or go to the library and find a new book. I chose the walk to the library. Reading the speech a day or so later, I was pleased to be reminded that I made the right choice.
There's only one reason why Bush gave this speech. He is rapidly losing the confidence of the American public. Support for the war is at an all-time low, and even a few Republican members of Congress have started to question the direction we are heading in. This administration, careful plotters that they are, deemed a strategy to attempt to get public perception out of the gutter. The first salvo was Karl Rove's ridiculous performance in New York two weeks or so ago, where he stated that all liberals were against military intervention in the wake of 9/11.
It was no accident that Rove was sent out to make those comments. When your policies and actions are beginning to slip, always undermine your opponents with smears and lies. That's how elections are won in this country now, remember?
We all know that the President is not fond of talking to the media, so when he has something really important to say, he goes in front of soldiers instead. Personally, I am disappointed that he chose not to play dress up this time, like he did on the USS Lincoln back in May of 2003.
Reading the speech, I was drawn to the following parts, in which the President tells us how he has managed to screw this all up:
"Some of the violence you see in Iraq is being carried out by ruthless killers who are converging on Iraq to fight the advance of peace and freedom. Our military reports that we have killed or captured hundreds of foreign fighters in Iraq who have come from Saudi Arabia and Syria, Iran, Egypt, Sudan, Yemen, Libya and others."
Were those ruthless killers present in Iraq before the US invasion, or did they make their way to Iraq afterwards? It is documented that the borders of Iraq, especially the one it shares with Syria, are wide open now, because there are not enough forces present to close the borders. By invading the country, we left it wide open. Excellent move. Proceed, please...
"Some wonder whether Iraq is a central front in the war on terror. Among the terrorists, there is no debate. Hear the words of Osama Bin Laden: "This Third World War is raging" in Iraq. "The whole world is watching this war." He says it will end in "victory and glory, or misery and humiliation."
Of course Iraq is the central front now. The US invasion created hundreds, if not thousands of wannabe terrorists. Until the invasion, the central front was Afghanistan. You do remember Afghanistan? And why is Bush quoting OBL? All he did there was remind me that we can't find that sucker, and that we have lessened the efforts in Afghanistan because we had to press further into Iraq. When the US invaded Afghanistan in retaliation after 9/11 (a move that I will go to my grave strongly defending, no matter what Karl Rove says), we squashed a refuge for terrorists. By launching an invasion of Iraq, we essentially hung up a big "Welcome Terrorists" sign in Baghdad, Falluja, etc.
"The only way our enemies can succeed is if we forget the lessons of September the 11th..."
The third of FIVE references to 9/11 in a twenty minute speech. Interesting that while Bush peppers us with references to lessons of 9/11, he forgets a lot of them himself. He forgets how the entire nation supported him, how every single voting member of Congress except for one voted to allow him to use force against the Taliban, and how almost all of the world was aligned with the US in sympathy and support. He has forgotten all that. What a shame. What a crime. But as I said, he is no idiot. He knows that his team has done a brilliant job of brain washing a ton of people that Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9/11. If he keeps repeating 9/11, sooner or later the Pavlovians start to drool, and all is well again.
We hear nothing new. People day every day. In 2009 Bush will be back chopping wood in Crawford, and US forces will still be in Iraq. There will be neo-conservative windbags calling for W's face on Mt. Rushmore, and the US will still be in Iraq. Sean Hannity will have gone through thousands of pairs of knee pads, and the US will still be in Iraq. Remember way back when, in the olden days of January-February-March 2003, when all we heard was that the US had to invade Iraq because there were weapons of mass destruction all over the country, and if we did not go in and get them, they'd be used to kill us? They are still being looked for. I am fascinated that there was no mention of this Tuesday. The President is usually so straight forward with us.
I hope his Daddy is proud of him. Vengeance is a bitch, but somebody has to do it.