George Bush’s much-hyped first sales pitch speech today in a attempt to launch a new administration narrative as to why America should stay the course in Iraq offered nothing new. He spent most of the time before an approving and controllable audience of naval cadets trying to explain how many Iraqis had been trained and the make up of Iraqi security and armed forces. Most of it attempting to turn the same old sow’s ear into a silk purse that was meant to sound like progress on the march to a model democracy in the Middle East. He continues to use the old cliches but recited them with a desparately phony sounding new conviction.
I think the most important thing he did make clear was that as long as he is President we should expect the same ideological “god is on our side” bag of wind leadership that has been the hallmark of his conduct of the war so far. Which means that unless the Democrats control the Congress after the November 2006 elections it will be 2008 before we can begin to realize some sort of logical strategy in the conduct or the war and exit from Iraq. If we have a country left by then.
One commentator observed that Bush was almost religious in his commitment to not cut and run from Iraq. The truth is he is religious, not almost religious; he is communing with his god. Of course, that is a main part of the problem.
It always amazes me that somehow this President thinks that when we kill innocent civilians in Iraq with a wayword bomb or intentional bullet it is somehow different than when a terrorist does it directly. Both are in fact based on misguided religiously driven righteousness or patriotism. Another rather large elephant is the living room that no one seems to recognize here is how this war in Iraq has morphed into Bush’s center piece in his “global war on terror”. What I like to know is where the fuck is Osama Bin Laden and the other people who attacked this country on 9/11.
Bush has more or less single handedly created the problem that we find our nation in with Iraq today. We are suppose to overlook the mistake of entering this war and the total incompetent conduct of this war on all fronts from day one and now fully accept that something different will come from hacks like Rumsfeld, Rove and Cheney.
Another issue at play here is that Bush has failed to admit any mistake in pursuing the war in the first place, an observation that most Americans have begun to accept as fact. Two wrongs make a right philosophy apparently at play here. Why can’t Bush admit that his grand plan to liberate Iraq was a flawed policy from the beginning? That he’s made some rather large mistakes and at the very minimum is ask for the American people’s forgiveness.
Then fire Donald Rumsfeld and tell the Vice President to start spending his time cutting ribbons and presiding over the Senate. Finally, he should bring someone into his inter circle who is willing to tell him when the emperor has no clothes on and who may offer a realistic approach to dealing with the war. Someone who also can propose a strategy that reflects the realities of the situation in Iraq.
Having said that, I know it’s not going to happen. Not with this incompetent and detached zealot of a President who has so badly lost his way.