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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

It Takes a Prick

by CLINTON FEIN

First, the numbers. If one is to go by polls, President Bush and his War Against Iraq (which was recently rebranded as a “Struggle Against Islamic Extremism”) are up shit’s creek embarrassingly sans paddle.

Click to Send PostcardThe frequently parroted proposition that we were fighting the war in Iraq to prevent terrorism from reaching the homeland lost its steam somewhat after the bomb attacks in London on July 7th and again two weeks later on July 21st. Or was the Coalition of the Willing bullshit exactly that?

Despite numerous assurances from the President and Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, Iraq missed the August 15th deadline for their new constitution, giving themselves a week more to iron out a few tiny issues, such as power sharing and the role of Islam.

Iraqi women are in a near panic as the threat of a Sharia law based legal system hovers ominously over the constitutional protection once promised along with the pelting of U.S servicemembers with flowers upon the liberation of Baghdad.

The man who couldn’t count how many troops had died, and arrogantly told congress that Iraq’s oil would sustain the rebuilding is now happily running the World Bank.

Speaking of oil, America’s upward spiraling gas prices coupled with a newly signed energy bill that does little more than make oil companies richer is about as useful to America’s economy and environment as Valerie Plame Wilson is now as a CIA operative.

President Bush, reminiscent of his five week vacation just prior to September 11th 2001, is on another five week vacation on his ranch in Crawford, Texas, which should be named Never Ever Land, since nothing that he thinks, says or promises appears to be based in reality. Never. Ever.

The spectacle of a Presidential motorcade racing past a grieving mother, Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq, seems to be a far cry from the media manipulations that accompanied Top Gun heroics on aircraft carriers
The spectacle of a Presidential motorcade racing past a grieving mother, Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq, seems to be a far cry from the media manipulations that accompanied Top Gun heroics on aircraft carriers along with self-congratulatory Mission Accomplished speeches once upon a time. Is Karl Rove losing his touch, or is he too busy looking for CIA agents to out to adjust the disastrous headlines? Or perhaps just mounting a defense?

Karl Rove likely will retain his job, despite the mounting evidence that, at the barest minimum, he aided and abetted in the outing of a CIA operative as a political dirty trick to punish Joseph Wilson for drawing attention to the veracity of a flimsy uranium claim upon which 99 senators we elected to represent us green lighted the President to wage a war against an enemy that had neither attacked us nor terrorized us. Such is the nature of this administration, and the sorry idiots that continue to allow themselves to be duped by it.

Cindy Sheehan has vowed to camp outside the President’s ranch for the duration of his vacation or until he meets with her so she can tell him face to face why she thinks her son died in vain. While some really foolish Republicans joined a chorus of Fox News hacks and right wing bloggers attempting to smear the grieving mother of a dead servicemember, accusing her of associating with left wing groups like MoveOn, some quick witted MoveOn member coined the slogan "Fire Mrs. Rove's Husband."

The once arrogant junior senator from Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum, has resorted to emulating Hillary Clinton – even so far as to title his book, "It Takes a Family" after her book, "It Takes a Village"
Panicked Republicans are bolting quicker than Robert Novak from a CNN set, and the once arrogant junior senator from Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum, has resorted to emulating Hillary Clinton – even so far as to title his book, "It Takes a Family" after her book, "It Takes a Village."

Santorum, once dubbed the third most powerful Republican in congress, is fortunate to have time enough on his hands to write books. Confused troops, stretched thin in Iraq as their comrades die by the hour, will be tickled pink to read his pro-life positions. So, no doubt, will the destroyed families of the dead and wounded soldiers. Perhaps when he has some spare time between promoting his book and appearing on Comedy Central, he can do something about the tens of thousands of soldiers languishing without adequate armor owing to inexcusable delays in the Pentagon's procurement system.

Or probably not. It takes a leader.

The spin is so out of control that even the Administration is no longer able to keep on message. If the point of their communications strategy is to keep America in the dark and guessing what the hell we’re doing there as the body bags pile higher and higher, they’ve succeeded admirably.

Although it’s difficult to determine which of the mixed messages the accurate one is, it looks as though America’s pulling out of Iraq and it isn’t. John Kerry couldn’t have come up with a more classic flip-flop.
Although it’s difficult to determine which of the mixed messages the accurate one is, it looks as though America’s pulling out of Iraq and it isn’t. John Kerry couldn’t have come up with a more classic flip-flop. According to General George Casey, "some fairly substantial reductions" can be expected to start next spring, even though declaring such a timetable -- even discussing options for an "exit strategy" -- implies weakening resolve according to President Bush.

Despite being rebuked by the President, General Casey’s assessment of a potential 30, 000 troop withdrawal, the caveat, constantly repeated by an automaton engineered to look like Condoleezza Rice, and an impotent incompetent named Donald Rumsfeld, is that America will only withdraw once they have handed over sovereign control to Iraq and once the country is able to protect itself. Like Utah Senator, Orin Hatch, laying out his plans as a Presidential candidate with less than 1% of the vote in the Republican primaries, or Tom Cruise insisting upon his adoration of women, one has to wonder how they honestly expect us to buy the shit they’re spewing. Mission Accomplished? How about Mission Impossible?

Liberation for far too many Iraqis has no electricity, fuel or food.

With an increasingly powerful insurgency and an upward spiraling death count of troops and civilians, calling the situation in Iraq precarious is about as euphemistic as it gets.

What no politician or partisan talking head on the cable TV circuit seems to be getting, is that in order to hand over control, one has to have control to hand over. If the current situation is this chaotic, with 138 000 American troops, it’s impossible to imagine how untrained Iraqis will not only learn from them, but avoid their mistakes and become actually effective. Sovereign control is neither a campaign slogan nor a sound byte.

The world waits with baited breath and blocked ears.

Clinton Fein can be reached at clinton@annoy.com


 
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