The Iraq Speech: the Drunk Driver speaks and says nothing
He isn't the first Drunk Driver President we've had.
As a young Congressman from Illinois, Abraham Lincoln (a veteran of the Black Hawk Indian Wars) denounced President James K. Polk's Mexican War, calling it a Scoundrel's War in rhetoric on the floor of Congress as harsh as the anti-war rhetoric during the Vietnam War. Lincoln voted for every appropriation to support our troops already committed to combat.
Ulysses S. Grant and Warren G. Harding were disasters at picking honest and competent cabinet secretaries and government agency chiefs. Their administrations drowned and foundered in noxious oceans of corruption. Grant, of course, had been a brilliant and successful Union Army general and took the surrender at Appomattox that ended the Civil War. Harding was -- well, for his times, he just looked very handsome and very prosperous and very confident. When you saw him or his photograph, you couldn't imagine that such a man was a total disaster at managing the federal government.
Harding's wife was a spiritualist who conducted table-knocking seances to get advice from the dead in the White House. Harding was surprised in a White House closet having sex with a woman who was not Mrs. Harding. (Nancy Reagan consulted an astrologer to plan and schedule President Reagan's every move.)
There is still a Vleeptron Controversy that I can't find a citation for: Had George W. Bush Jr. ever been outside the United States before he became President? No guessing. Give Vleeptron a credible citation for Yes or No. (Across the Mexican border to attend to certain biological functions doesn't count.)
Bush seems the worst Drunken Driver President because he's happening to us right now. Presidential car wrecks that happened to grandpa or great-grandpa blessedly seem much less important.
Young American men and women who had a right to keep living and, under wise leadership, could have had long, healthy lives are dying young right now in combat in Iraq.
Astonishingly, nearly all the US media, print and electronic, are still talking about Bush and Iraq as if his war policies just need a little tweaking and course adjustment to make them all work out fine in the end.
One early attempt I read to make me feel better about Bush said proudly and admiringly that he was the first president to hold a Masters of Business Administration degree. In my experience, of all people with college degrees, MBAs are the dumbest, know the least about anything, and are right smack-dab in the middle of all the monster corporate collapse and fraud scandals of the last decade. The federal government, and the military services of the United States, are not businesses. If some conservatives wish it were run like a business, by MBAs, it is now run by an MBA, is totally unaccountable -- the closest thing to stockholders it has are the voters -- and is chalking up historic deficits -- a business run by an MBA Drunk Driver who answers to no one.
In the private sector, no business endeavor he ever ran or was significantly associated with ever made a profit or was a market success. He couldn't find oil in Texas.
But he recycled himself into Texas and then national politics apparently because people like his handshake and his smile at fund-raising barbecues. Many people with big checkbooks like him because it's always been clear that he is a very big-business-friendly governor and president.
This is one dumb fuckhead. He's killing our sons and daughters in uniform, and achieving no military or political or diplomatic goal that can be clearly or coherently stated. He says we must stay the course to bring democracy and stability to Iraq.
Our troops are going to be there for a minimum of six more years.
But Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld warned on Sunday [26 June 2005] that it could last up to 12 years.
-- BBC's report on Bush's speech at Fort Bragg NC Tuesday night
Once this war began, Bush couldn't possibly realize he'd blundered bigtime and dangerously. What infinitessimal understanding of Asian and Muslim affairs he had came from surrounding himself with a cabal of Christian fundamentalist psycho hawks who promised that a new anti-Muslim crusade, and a policy of imposing America's white Christian will on the world by overwhelming shock and awe brute force, would promptly make America rich with gushing pipelines of seized oil.
He couldn't possibly end it, cut America's losses, and pull the troops out. And the Republican or Democratic president who follows him won't have the political clarity or guts to end it. All candidates for the next two presidential elections will be convinced that promising to end the American military component of the war in Iraq will be political suicide.
He is, of course, both metaphorically and literally a Drunk Driver. When he was outed with a drunk driving conviction in Maine a week before his first presidential election, he had a very interesting and original reason for why he'd never admitted it. He has daughters, and he didn't want his daughters to know their daddy had been arrested for drunk driving.
That's sweet. What a fine, loving, protective father. What an excellent Free Pass for never having to tell the truth, or the whole truth, about his past activities.
Another reason he doesn't have to discuss his youthful activities in any detail is that he became a born-again Christian. So Jesus forgave him for everything he did previously; he was a different person altogether back then.
Another reason his policies in Iraq and domestically can't be criticized or faulted is that he makes all the important decisions by praying for Jesus' guidance. Every decision that follows -- to criticize it is to criticize Jesus' influence over those who have accepted Him as their personal Savior. Knock Bush, knock Jesus.
This man is dumb as rocks, and gets to order armies and navys and air forces into combat to kill thousands of Asian Muslims and get thousands of young Americans maimed for life, killed, and infect two of five combat soldiers with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Long after Bush is in retirement attending to his Library, American families will be ripped into shreds by what Bush has done.
No American or world institution will ever have the will or the power to hold him accountable, not while he's Commander-in-Chief, not after he leaves the White House. He will live out his life being spoken about as an admirable if somewhat controversial ex-president. Americans will learn to admire him more and more after he retires.
The United States of America has the world's most powerful military. Our enemies in Iraq buy their supplies at hardware stores and antique weapons markets. They're willing, even happy to die to kill a half-dozen American soldiers. Are our soldiers and Marines willing, even happy to die to kill a half-dozen Muslims? No, and they shouldn't be. But Bush has got us into a war that the US military can't possibly win -- whatever "winning" might mean, clearly defined, to American military and civilian war leaders.
The guy thought he'd just pose for photo ops while his multi-millionaire family pals really ran things. Then came the attacks of 11 September 2001. To his horror, the American people expected him suddenly to know things and make effective decisions. He doesn't know anything, and his White House is structured so he's signing things, but he's not making any serious or substantive decisions. For exactly the same reason we don't let cute ten-year-olds drive cars down the highway: He's incompetent and stupid.
Harding had it lucky, or our great-grandparents did. It was mostly peacetime, and his incompetence and culture of corruption wasn't killing thousands of American soldiers. It was just money.
Bush's incompetence and culture of corruption is money and the blood of the sons and daughters of our neighbors.
I have no advice about what to do about Bush or Iraq. Nothing will do any good. He'll finish up his second term with historically low approval ratings, and then move on. Each month, scores of American troops will continue to be killed in the Shooting Gallery called Iraq. The president who comes next, of either party, will keep waging this war that accomplishes nothing good for anyone. Kerry voted for Bush's Scoundrel War, and ran for president never hinting he might consider ending our military commitment in Iraq. If anything, he posed as a former aggressive war hero who'd fight the war even tougher.
Great smile, firm handshake, you really want to like this guy when you meet him at a big Texas barbecue. But if you meet him at a barbecue, odds are you're rich. You may have kids -- but they're certainly not serving in uniform.
He's a drunk driver. In Maine. And as President of the United States. No one will ever hold him accountable for what he has done, and done entirely on lies. Our neighbors' kids are dying -- but that's okay. They're all volunteers; they asked for it, they knew what they were getting themselves into. And they're all from poor families, and the poor don't vote much or make much political noise that anyone has to listen to. We can keep killing these kinds of "volunteers" for a few more years before the streets of our cities fill with protestors.
It must be okay. No newspaper is demanding it stop, no Congressmen in any significant number or stridency are demanding it stop, few Senators are saying simply: We must get our troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan now.
The first US President with an MBA degree says: We must stay the course. He says he can't tell us when the troops might leave Iraq, because that would be tipping our hand to the enemy. "We will stay in Iraq as long as we are needed -- and not a day longer."
Do the math. That means six years. That means twelve years. That means nothing -- words come out of his mouth and into our living rooms, and they mean nothing. It's impossible to know what that means. It means coffins coming back to Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. It certainly means that.
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