Schlock & Awe
I said it on November 7, 2000, September 11, 2001, and on March 20, 2003, and I’ll say it again (and again and again).
The Bush Administration is the most dangerously inept group of politicians in the history of this country. I’ve been clear from the outset that I don’t think the guy’s smart, or imaginative, and he’s certainly not experienced enough to lead the country (or, for that matter, the world, though I bristle at the notion that the president is, by default, the “Leader of the Free World”). His administration, and our times, are a perfect storm of hubris.
As a result, I almost didn’t watch his address last night. That his apparent “surge” proposal looked as if it would be so completely out of step with world opinion sickened me. But didn’t surprise me. I’m sure his underground bunker in Texas is sufficiently well-appointed. The Bushes and their cronies will weather whatever “extremists” (like, say, China, or Syria, or North Korea) lob our way. I’m sure his lobster and caviar will remain chilled well into the year 2025.
Here, nonetheless, are a few of my pithy obsevations as our president prattled on about “freedom” in his address to the nation last night. (I was humming “The National Anthem” the whole time.)
8:58:59: Paula Zahn just reported that the president will be speaking from the White House Library instead of the Oval Office because he and his advisors wanted this speech to feel like a conversation, like something more casual — yunno, cuz war is casual.
09:02:23: The lighting behind him really is remarkable, like a delightfully warm sunset on the Bayou. Or Ramadi.
09:03:18: “Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me.” Finally, something George and I can agree on.
09:04:54: “Radical Islamic extremists would grow in strength… and use oil revenues to fund… Iran would be emboldened…”
09:04:47: Surprise! September 11th is invoked! If only Saddam hadn’t been hell bent on bringing down those Twin Towers, we wouldn’t be in this mess.
09:07:00: I’ll say this for him: he’s fit for his age. He’s thin. All that joggin’ helps.
09:09:50: His brow has been furrowed the whole time, like he’s thinking really hard, or he really, really means it. Or, he wants to look like he really, really means it, but is really, really scared.
09:10:12: Sharing oil revenues, sweet! I’m moving to Takrit! But wait, weren’t those revenues supposed to pay for the war in the first place?
09:11:06: I love hearing him stumble over big words he doesn’t know, like “provisional.” That’s a mouthful.
09:11:54: Wait, if Iraq is a soverign nation, what is Secretary Rice doing appointing a “reconstruction coordinator in Baghdad?” Shouldn’t they be doing their own appointing?
09:14:17: An additional carrier strike group, sweet! That’s at least ten vessels in all: a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier (with upwards of 5000 troops), two guided missile cruisers, three guided missile cruisers, two frigates, two submarines, plus assorted supply support. Sounds like a de-escalation to me!
09:1522: “It is the decisive ideological struggle of our time.” Is it? Christianity versus, what? Dark skinned, tan guys in turbans? Guys with oil? Guys who talk funny?
09:16:10: What is an “extremist,” exactly?
09:17:39: All I can ever think when I watch this guy speak is, “We’ve really screwed the pooch on this one.” Worse, Mr. Bush brought the puppy, dropped our shorts, and started pushin’.
09:19:02: When he talks about everyone being “sick of the violence” and the “cycle of violence,” all I can think is that there was no violence before we showed up and started it.
09:19:29: A new bi-partisan working group? Sweet! Like Iraq Study Group whose recomendations he’s so thuroughly ignored?
09:20:20: “The cause of Iraq is noble and necessary,” he says. Hmmm, is it? I mean, was it? Before he trumpted up “WMDs,” Al Qaeda ties, African plutonium, and other assorted lies?
09:21:47: Wolf Blitzer is back. Phew.
09:22:59: Larry King? Now we get Larry King? Awesome. I love Larry King.
09:23:00: Three thousand American soldiers dead, twenty thousand wounded; sixty thousand Iraqi civilians dead, $357B spent … I’m changing the channel. Is “Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?” on?