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August 21/06

OPINION

Terrorist Roundups, Endless New Euphemisms, & Iraq Rages On & On.

Speaking to the press, President Bush said his invasion of Iraq did not “stir up a hornet’s nest.” The terrorists, he said, killed 3000 of our citizens “before we started the freedom agenda” in the Middle East. Is that what’s going on? A freedom agenda? No, this is just another in a long list of euphemisms, trying to bog down logical thinking in reasonable minds.

He also said that “nobody’s ever suggested in this administration that Saddam Hussein ordered the attack” (9/11). The rest of us have known this for several years. When did he discover it? Additionally he reassured those who wanted to hear him say it: we’re not leaving Iraq as long as he’s our president, which means, I suppose, ‘til January 2009 or until he’s impeached for misleading his country.

While the Brits did splendid work in closing down the awful bomb plot, Bush having been kept informed by Blair, was able to exploit this event early on, while Karl Rove worked overtime on how to spin the terror angle to Bush’s advantage. i.e. Dems want to cut and run. Elect them in November and be overrun by Al Quaeda terrorists.

Right.

Continued here...The administration shifted the message from Iraq to global terror, in high gear. Bush in Wisconsin said, the latest threat is a "stark reminder that the nation is at war with Islamic fascists." Tony snow said that the Dems want to raise "a white flag in the war on terror," getting the jump in advance of the release of the Brit bomb plot news which he was well aware of, while the Press at the time knew nothing. Meanwhile Michael Churnoff tried to vaguely and ineffectively claim some of the credit for the “plot’ shutdown by implying our NSA spying made a contribution to the Brits’ boots-on-the-ground police work.

Anyway, keep it in perspective. The Democrats are not responsible for the terror and the Mid East mess. But of course VP Cheney is already wallowing in scare tactics by suggesting that Lieberman’s loss to Lamont will signify to terrorists that Americans are losing their will to fight. Fight where? Iraq, naturally, while ignoring the fact that Iraq is his war and it has attracted and become a haven for terrorists.

. But what history will tell us is already before us:

Secretary Of State Condoleezza Rice, during a recent television interview, referred to the incipient civil war in Iraq as “sectarian differences,” disagreements which are now responsible for an average of one-hundred dead per day. I realize you know your math but that’s 3000 per month, and at that rate 36,000 per year. Condi’s interpretation is only a part of the new spin which in essence is telling us that no one is perfect, that they too (the administration) can make mistakes, and have, but that they’ll keep moving forward no matter how long it takes and it will take long. Democratization is not easy to accomplish, for pete’s sake. And “it’s hard,” Condi said.

All of which is pretty much what Rumsfeld is now spinning as well, both he and Rice staying on the new message: it is human to err, bear with us. One can almost hear the grating at the back teeth behind the smiles. But if nothing else, the Republicans have been superb in spinning and staying on message, putting the Dems to shame, though this recent verbal pirouetting, if wound any tighter, threatens to snap and deliver a fatal blow in November.

As it is, President Bush appears to constantly ping and pong between the deer-in-the-headlights and the Churchill-on-testosterone demeanor, all of which amazes one in view of the stress, considering (as I’ve read) his heart rate has been shown to be 46 at rest. One might assume a total lack of conscience allowed such a rate, which in itself might infer a lack of empathy, or merely a staying-awake disorder.

Sorry, forgive--have to use myself as an example: When my conscience is at its most clear (well, occasionally, anyway), the best I can do is 60 beats in that miracle muscle--my heart, whilst feet are up with the mind soporifically zoned by the telly. Pretty good, I think. After all, I may have deceived one or two people (not my wife, mind you) but I have never deceived a nation and thrown an army into a war with a country which had nothing to do with the attacks of 9/11. Nor have I done everything within my power to enrich the rich while taking from the working poor, giving monumental contracts with cost overruns and fraud to cronies to build super planes and ships to non-fight cold wars with an ex-Soviet empire, and producing non-reconstruction projects in Iraq. Etcetera lists ad nauseam come to mind, which I will not indulge in .

Remember terms such as “terrorism” and “ insurgency?” Well, the new mantras are “asymmetric warfare” and “nontraditional enemies.” One can imagine the ultra creative geniuses in Defense, in State, in the W.H., with blackboards and erasers, chalking long lists of synonyms for future use, which might soften and deflect the daily impact of the hell in Iraq, while moving from plan to plan.

It was not long ago when VP Cheney said “we will be treated as liberators “ and “the insurgency is in its last throes.” Then more recently the 50,000 man joint American-Iraqi force to wipe out the bad guys in Baghdad, entitled: “Operation Forward Together” which failed merely because the bad guys disappear only to reappear elsewhere. And then we have Bush’s glorious “Plan For Victory” which would be achieved by handing more responsibility to the Iraqi troops while our troops stand down, with Bush issuing his pronouncements in front of a banner in the same way he had issued his “Mission Accomplished” victory speech. But the plan for victory proved an empty promise with Iraqis failing to measure up, causing the dramatic increase in the horrific violence of “sectarian differences,” and requiring the sudden need to shift our dedicated but overworked troops back into Baghdad to take control. The administration is long past plan B, past C and D and E, slowly consuming the alphabet along with the lives of Americans and Iraqis alike.

Back in 2000, President Bush’s oh-so-humble expressions of anti-nation building, saying in effect: we’re not in that business, was soon revealed to be an election snow-job when 9/11 allowed his administration’s misdirected think-tank ideologues to act on their long held, and intellectually arrogant, view that one could play with the fate of real people in actual Mid East countries, as if they were bloodless pieces on a checkered game board.

Bush then, infamously, used the scare tactics of WMDs, orange alerts and “mushroom clouds,” which, having become the stuff of cartoons, finally morphed into world democratization and the nearly impossible “global war on terrorism.” It has become the nation’s most common knowledge, readily absorbed by our least interested and most uninformed citizenry, that Iraq was and is innocent in regard to 9/11. Yet even now, Bush and Cheney when pressed will immediately revert like robotic dolls to the original sin of shock and awe and “So we don’t have to fight them here,” (no less an automatic utterance than a doll‘s: “Mama”) a mantra now so ludicrous that someday it might be put to music like “Springtime For Hitler” in the musical, The Producers.

Bush will tell you his global war is well illustrated in the violence of Hizbollah and Hamas, which is his fantasy. Hamas’ problem is with Israel, not with us. It is local in Israel, and we do not occupy Palestine. Hizbollah’s terror acts against the U.S. occurred when we, however well-intended, intruded on their turf in Lebanon. The bombing of the U.S embassy occurred April 1983, killing 63; the bombing of the Marine barracks in October that year killed 241 servicemen peacekeepers, which encouraged us to leave, and we did. History leading to these events from the end of WWI and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire is too complicated to go into here.

I am not in any way justifying Hizbollah or it’s desire to exterminate Israel, nor am I suggesting we withdraw material support for Israel; I am merely observing the facts, not Bush’s never ending fantasy desire to connect unrelated dots to rationalize his war and his mishandled foreign policy.

Actual facts: Hizbollah is supported ideologically and materially by Iran via Syria; and Bush, had he been less of a cowboy and more of an adult, might have mitigated the nasty effects of this alliance during the past 6 years, had he engaged in diplomatic negotiations with these troublesome countries. But he didn’t; instead he began the insanity of the Iraqi invasion, overestimating our military’s strategies, underestimating guerrilla tactics, in the process destabilizing the Middle Eastern balance of power and allowing Shiite Iran to reengage with Shiite Iraq and flex it’s formidable political muscle. The result: Iran has seen our overwhelming preoccupation with Iraq, our spent lives and resources, our polarized country, and cleverly seizing the moment it sent the well-trained Hizbollah across the Israeli border, in effect challenging the U.S. to a proxy fight while detracting for the moment from its Nuclear ambitions, and causing far right neo-con crazies like the Weekly Standard’s William Kristol, who advised attacking Iraq, to now attack Iran: “The Iranians would embrace us,” says he.

Anyway, Israel, surprising Hizbollah and everyone else, attacked Hizbollah in Lebanon with a vengeance; not to mention Hizbollah surprising everyone, including Israel and our military, Israel having been infected by the same false notions as our joint chiefs--that super technology in the air and on the ground will supplant thousands of aggressive troops.

Actual fact: Al Quaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan remain our constant and legitimate targets, and remain the shame of our disastrous government which has mostly abandoned that justifiable war to even the score for the 9/11 attacks, so as to recklessly plunge into the fantasy treasures of Iraq: oil and redoing the Middle East from the ground up to satisfy the arrogant players: Messrs. Wolfowitz, Pearle, Cheney, Rumsfeld; and President Bush--aka “Captain Democracy” (from my web site’s cartoon).

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, told Congress “…today Iraq is a democracy,” in a speech that must have been written by Karl Rove, considering no mention was made of the various militia death squads, of the fact that the shaky Iraqi government resides with the Americans inside the heavily armed Green Zone fortress to avoid assassinations, or of that fractured and despairing nation’s grueling slide into a civil war, aka “sectarian differences.”

Senator Lieberman’s defeat in the primary is testimony to at least a good portion of this country’s disgust with the Iraqi war, and hopefully this same portion will feel the same disgust for this deceitful and incompetent administration. Lieberman may still win as an independent, but a very strong message of discontent went out from Connecticut to the rest of America. And I say amen to that.

Finally, it does not take a genius I.Q. to understand that had we engaged more fully in long term diplomatic negotiations in the Middle East, invested more time and money in developing alternative fuels so as to eventually reduce our presence in the Middle East (a prime irritant), had we not invaded Iraq, had we remained in full force in Afghanistan and completed the mission of taking out Bin laden, the Taliban and Al Quaeda, thereby gaining more intelligence, we would be in a much better position to go forward in increasing and maintaining our home security, weeding out cells, increasing security at our air terminals and shipping ports, and any other existing vulnerabilities.  Period.

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