Saturday, March 29, 2008

"Return On Success?"

So, when people who disagree with the President's Iraq agenda suggest we pull out some troops, it's bad and "a win for the terrorists." But when George suggests that drawing down troops, it's a good thing because the process is going to be called "return on success?" Sounds rather spurious to me. Have a look:
Q Paul Bongiorno, Mr. President. As you noted, Australia will begin withdrawing 500 combat troops from southern Iraq. And I heard that you accept this decision, which did, as you say, play out in our election. But how does it fit with your view, expressed quite strongly again yesterday, that to withdraw troops at this time would be to retreat? And you've described our former Prime Minister as a "man of steel." I'm wondering how you'd describe Mr. Rudd.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Fine lad, fine lad. First of all, I didn't exactly say that. And by the way, we are withdrawing troops. It's called "return on success." And our intention is to have pulled down five battalions by July. Troops are coming out -- five brigades, excuse me -- troops are coming out, because we're successful. And so I would view the Australia decision as "return on success," returning home on success.

Does it really matter what the President calls a troop withdrawal? I wait patiently for the troops to return, but I think he should not berate those who advocate withdrawal and then claim that he's the saint for doing it,particularly given the nasty situation he has caused in Iraq and has yet to fix.

That's fundamentally different from saying, well, it's just too hard, pull them all out. That sends a different signal. This is a signal in which we're working collaboratively with the Iraqi government. They know our intentions, and they know we're not going to leave them.

In the very same speech, I talked about developing a long-term strategic relationship with Iraq, as well. And for those who didn't listen to the full speech, I will remind you that it's in our interests that we enter into such an arrangement. But a long-term strategic arrangement does not commit any future President to any troop level, nor does it talk about permanent bases. But it does talk about a joint strategic relationship to make sure that the Iraqi people know, and the Iraqi government knows that we're not going to leave them in the lurch.

And so we are taking troops out, just like the Australians are, because we're being successful. And his question -- Steven Lee's question was, well, are you going to bring any further out? Not, are you going to bring any out; are you going to bring any further troops out -- from that which we committed to do earlier. And the answer is, it depends on what our commanders say, and the folks in Washington say, and it depends upon conditions on the ground. His real question was, have the conditions changed such that you believe your commander is going to make a different recommendation that he might have two days ago? And I can't answer that question. I can only tell you what I'm going to do after we get back from NATO.

Thank you for coming. I've enjoyed it.
So, we are being successful in Iraq? Really? Have a gander at these pictures and decide for yourself. If this is what success looks like, the bar must be really by George Bush standards. Just goes to show us he was right to suggest that we "not misunderestimate" him.

Does any one else find it reprehensible that George Bush berates people for advocating withdrawal and then tries to take the high road by pasting some kind of euphamistic phrase over it? Moreover, it's reprehensible that he suggest what is ocuring in Iraq is a success.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

President Bush Stokes The Empty Rhetorical Fire And Thrusts His Political Agenda Forward On the Backs of 4000 KIA GIs

One thing is clear in this, the defining "ideological struggle of the 21st century," is that the president is a master of empty rhetoric. Take a look at this paragraph and let's unpack it.
But there's one thing that is consistent. No matter what shortcomings these critics diagnose, their prescription is always the same -- retreat. They claim that our strategic interest is elsewhere, and that if we would just get out of Iraq, we could focus on the battles that really matter. This argument makes no sense. (Applause.) If America's strategic interests are not in Iraq -- the convergence point for the twin threats of al Qaeda and Iran, the nation Osama bin Laden's deputy has called "the place for the greatest battle," the country at the heart of the most volatile region on Earth -- then where are they?
Here we see Bush set up his straw man again and knock it down in front of a captive audience corralled by the GOP orchestrators and choir directors.

No is suggesting that we "retreat" from anything. In fact, a prescription for success in Iraq as authored by George and his war time profiteering brainiacs was at one point inclusive of withdrawing troops. You remember, "they stand up, we stand down?" The fact of the matter is that simply by withdrawing troops does not mean that victory is theirs.

So, now by articulating the new slogan for the Bush and co, mouthpiece for the terrorists, is to link Iran and OBL (where is he by the way?) in this brilliant piece of propaganda labeling the "twin threats." So, does this mean that we have gone from the triple threat of an axis of evil to the twin threats of Iran and Al Queda that things have improved or gotten worse for America? Really, the man is all hat and no cattle.

Asking the question "is Iraq in the strategic interest of the United States" is the rhetorical equivalent of the "when did you stop beating your wife" sort of question. It's irrelevant because we are there. We have no choice in that matter. Bush made it the central front on the war on terror because he was reckless and could care less about the civilians in Iraq.

To answer his question, the vital interests in our country right now seem to be located in our country. This doesn't mean that Iraq becomes less important, but right now it is clear that he values Iraq over the US as he's pouring money into that operation while simultaneously killing the very fabric of our country.

If he really believed in the cause, after he finishes his term, he would dedicate the remainder of his life to fixing Iraq. But is he moving his family to Baghdad after he leaves in January as a statement of his belief in the country and his cause? Doubtful. But that would be a move that proves his statement. Don't hold your breath.

What is more reprehensible about Bush and his team of propagandists arming the "presidential propaganda catapult," is their never ending flogging of the KIA GIs in Iraq to support their political aims.
Four thousand of our finest citizens have sacrificed their lives in this mission. Every one of them was loved. Every one is missed. And we thank God for the gift of these brave Americans

-- and we ask Him to comfort their families. Every one of them will be honored throughout our history. But the best way to honor the fallen is to complete the mission, and lay the foundation of peace. (Applause.)
What exactly is that mission Mr. Bush? It's changed so frequently, I can't keep it straight. Please, stop levering dead GIs to keep the fuel pouring on the conflagration that caused their deaths. Please.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Iraq Attack: Now You Can Relive It

Frontline has a new documentary that highlights the events that comprised/comprise "Bush's War." I caught it last night on the HD PBS channel.

If you would like to amplify your queasiness and heighten your belief that perhaps going to Iraq was the wrong thing to do, I suggest you watch it. The closing words, "Stalemate," really makes the whole Iraq "WMD Hunt, Liberation, Freedom and Democracy spreading" debacle more despicable and reprehensible on our part. Unloading the fury we unleashed on Iraq over these low five years seems less and less justified and more and more like a quagmire that could have been avoided if George Bush and his Administration was not there.

Unfortunately for America, we are now married to Iraq and much of it is all water under the bridge. Iraq has become a welfare state we can't afford (shoot, we can't even figure out how to fix social security. How can we be expected to support the Iraqis?) Can we apply for a divorce from Iraq under a new President? Doubt it. The bigger question is how do we hold the bastards that got us Iraq accountable for this mess? Perhaps it will never be allowed, but it that doesn't mean someone shouldn't be held accountable for it.

Monday, March 24, 2008

4000 KIA: Brought To You By George W. Bush

Civilian Deaths, Military end in sight.

No one would argue that this war has not come at a high cost in lives and treasure -- but those costs are necessary when we consider the cost of a strategic victory for our enemies in Iraq.
Perhaps the President's definition of victory is different from the one that involves the withdrawal of troops, but one could safely ague that withdrawal of troops doesn't necessarily equate to or ensure victory for our enemies.

Indeed, as originally intended, the Iraqis were supposed to "stand up, so we could stand down." Thus, by Bush's own definition, withdrawal of the troops is a necessary part of the victory equation not a sign of defeat. Again, we see the president trying to have his cake and eat it too.

What's most irksome about George Bush's Iraq "plan" is the shifting quicksand for both rationale for the initial invasion and the definition of victory that makes the whole debacle quite untenable. At nearly $ 5000 dollars per second, and many lives lost already and no end in sight, I ask this question once again. At what point does one more GI KIA no longer worth it?

Can you tell this kid filming his/her father's funeral that her/his dad was a "necessary cost?"

Saturday, March 22, 2008

God Loves Guns

Based on the President's Easter benediction, you would think God loves guns. Certainly, it's plain: God loves strong military might.
On Easter, we hold in our hearts those who will be spending this holiday far from home -- our troops on the front lines. I deeply appreciate the sacrifices that they and their families are making. America is blessed with the world's greatest military, made up of men and women who fulfill their responsibilities with dignity, humility, and honor. Their dedication is an inspiration to our country and a cause for gratitude this Easter season.
God Bless America, may she always be right!

.....psst...what are you doing looking down here....yes, May God Bless America and may she always be right....That's what I typed....

psstt....why do you continue to scroll down...what? We weren't right about WMD in Iraq? My goodness, do you think we are on shaky ground here?

Psst...why do you keep scrolling down....God does live the Military, particularly ours. God thus, must love guns, no? Am I wrong?

Allah Akbar!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Fox News: Tool of The Devil, Tool Of The Right

News? You be the judge:

"Icky?" Karl Rove is a happy man every time he has lunch with Rupert Murdoch.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"Becase We Acted..."

No doubt, we are all tired of listening to the sound bites carefully selected from today's Presidential Propaganda Catapult launch from the Pentagon. I just want to unpack one paragraph. Have a gander and see what you think:
Because we acted, Saddam Hussein no longer fills fields with the remains of innocent men, women and children.

Saddam's dead, sure. But we have been responsible for putting a lot of innocent Iraqi men, women, and children in the ground too.
Because we acted, Saddam's torture chambers and rape rooms and children's prisons have been closed for good.

Sure, Saddam is dead and cannot open the McFrancise version of his "torture" chambers, but this claim is hollow because Bush and his cronies still allow torture anyway, and by our own hands (Waterboards for Every One).
Because we acted, Saddam's regime is no longer invading its neighbors or attacking them with chemical weapons and ballistic missiles.

But with all the saber rattling toward Iran, it's looking a lot like we may invade that neighbor. Or is all the threatening rhetoric about Iran getting the nuke just a lot of hot air?
Because we acted, Saddam's regime is no longer paying the families of suicide bombers in the Holy Land.

But the suicide bombers keep coming, and the IEDs, which are more threatening are still exploding. It could be argued that our presence in Iraq has led the recruiting drive for the Jihadists making it substantially easier for the terrorists to recruit more terrorists because we acted in Iraq.
Because we acted, Saddam's regime is no longer shooting at American and British aircraft patrolling the no-fly zones and defying the will of the United Nations.

I may be quibbling about grammar here, but regimes don't act. People do. And last I checked our troops are still in harms way getting shot at. Does it matter that it's not a "regime" but a reconstituted army of believers who used to follow Saddam?
Because we acted, the world is better and United States of America is safer.(Applause.)

Well, that's most certainly debatable, and in the face of the threatening language George Bush used yesterday when talking about Iran, it doesn't pass muster. You can't spur fear and simultaneously say we are safe. Bush continues to dance the fine line between foolishness and faith preferring to lead via faith over fact, and all I know is I most certainly don't feel safer for it.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Ever The Fear Monger: Bush Set To Beat The Drum For The Terrorists Once Again

Amidst the backdrop of protests happening around the globe, George Bush is scheduled to again spout his usual fear laden diatribe to drum up more support for his grand "democracy spreading" experiment in Iraq. Really, however you like to slice it, OBL couldn't ask for a better person to beat the fear drum for his cause.
President Bush says he has no doubts about waging the unpopular war in Iraq despite the "high cost in lives and treasure." He says that retreat now would embolden Iran and provide al-Qaida with money for weapons of mass destruction to attack the United States.
Bush has taken our country down the road we never should had traveled and there's no easy way out of it. I just wish he would stop mongering the fear to get us to support him and his ungodly and unfathomably costly war to assuage his on guilty conscience (if he has one). No doubt, these words come easy to the man who hasn't lost a child nor had his child incapacitated because of his Iraq mess. "High Cost in lives and treasure" my God. He has no idea how bad it is does he?

Monday, March 17, 2008

No Basis For Comparison

Found out this about Barack Obama's mother:
Kansas was merely a way station in her childhood, wheeling westward in the slipstream of her furniture-salesman father. In Hawaii, she married an African student at age 18. Then she married an Indonesian, moved to Jakarta, became an anthropologist, wrote an 800-page dissertation on peasant blacksmithing in Java, worked for the Ford Foundation, championed women’s work and helped bring microcredit to the world’s poor.
Makes me wonder what George W. Bush's mother has done to advance the world. I'm sure there's no basis for comparison, but it looks to me that Barak Obama is coming from a solid rather the entirely privileged lineage like some Presidents we know.

George Bush (Brillant Master Of The Obvious) Says, "In The Long Run, Our Economy Is Going To Be Fine"

No one ever claimed that George Bush has a powerful intellect. Certainly, you can't expect more from the man who claimed a while back that we should "not misunderestimate" him. I cannot help but hearken back to that wonderful scene in the classic movie Animal House - where with the hoards roaring at him, the ROTC cadet yelling "all is well, remain calm" while getting flattened by the onrushing mob.

George Bush is so insignificant to the economy except for the inexcusable abuse of his administrations authority to get our country into this situation. His recent one minute speechifying is proof that he is irrelevant at this point in time:
9:40 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Secretary, thank you very much for coming by today to talk about the economic situation -- we'll be meeting later on this afternoon with the President's Task Force on Financial Markets.

First of all, the Secretary has given me an update. One thing is for certain -- we're in challenging times. But another thing is for certain -- that we've taken strong and decisive action. The Federal Reserve has moved quickly to bring order to the financial markets. Secretary Paulson has been -- is supportive of that action, as am I. And I want to thank you, Mr. Secretary, for working over the weekend. You've shown the country and the world that the United States is on top of the situation.

Secondly, you've reaffirmed the fact that our financial institutions are strong and that our capital markets are functioning efficiently and effectively. We obviously will continue to monitor the situation and when need be, will act decisively, in a way that continues to bring order to the financial markets.

In the long run, our economy is going to be fine. Right now we're dealing with a difficult situation and, Mr. Secretary, I want to thank you very much for your steady and strong and consistent leadership.

Thank you very much.

END 9:41 A.M. EDT
So, in the one minute it took George Bush to deliver his comments, has he been able to restore your faith in his leadership to deliver us from the mess he helped cultivate? Right, of course our economy will be fine in the long run. We recovered from the Depression right? It's what's happening right now that hurts.

Pretty soon, they are going to foreclose on the undelivered FEMA trailers and then what? Too bad George can't think past saving his pals in big business. If he was so keen to screw the little guy by routing the Chapter 11 laws, why wouldn't they have let Bear Sterns sink in it's own sauce?

When it gets right down to it, we see the President and his staff doing the time honored W, Rove and Co thing, saving their friends asses, screwing the little guy, and then blaming some one else for the economy they delivered.
Q For people who are losing their homes, or losing their jobs, and then they see the government helping engineer this $30 billion line of credit for Bear Stearns, and help for other financial investment firms on Wall Street, how do you reconcile the two?

MS. PERINO: Well, the way I would answer that question is in two parts. One, this isn't about bailing anyone out. These actions are intended, as I said earlier today, to minimize financial market disruptions. And investors in Bear Stearns are taking large and significant losses in this transaction. And that's not what happens in a bail-out. They bought into a company, they took a financial risk -- and it had paid off quite well for them a while ago, but today they're looking at a stock that's only worth $2. And the Fed, what they did last night, is try to provide liquidity to the markets so it would stabilize, and we could have orderliness in the system.

But I would also say that a major market disruption would have very damaging consequences and be very painful for everybody, from the small business owner to the homeowner, for everybody all the way up and down the economic food chain. And the goal here is to prevent a major disruption in financial markets. And the Fed is taking decisive action when necessary, and that is what they saw last night.

In addition to that, homeowners and small business owners and everyone across America needs to know that we've acted on multiple fronts, starting back in August -- that was when the President recognized that we might be heading into some headwinds in the economy, with several different aspects of it. And if you look back consistently over those past several months, he has said that we needed to take some action. And over time, we proposed legislation, dealing with the housing market. We also worked with the private sector to help homeowners, through HOPE NOW, and then Project Lifeline. We supported legislation that would not penalize people for writing down mortgage debt when they did a refinancing. And that finally became law.

We haven't had Congress act on one of the most important things they could do, which is Federal Housing Administration -- changes in reforms that we've asked for. It's been about seven months since the President first announced that, and Congress is now and again on a two-week recess, and nothing is going to happen.

But at the same time, back in January, the President said, when we worked on the stimulus package, that the reason that we're doing that is because we could see in the future there could be a potential downturn in the economy. And so if things were to get worse, we would have a stimulus package in effect. We called that, remember, an insurance policy, a booster shot, that we said would take effect and have impact later in the summer. And the President and Congress were right to work together on that bipartisan package, because those tax rebates will be going out to people all across the country, including the homeowners that you talk about.

Q But, Dana, how does this square with sort of traditional conservative economic principles of limited government involvement in terms of, sort of, maybe culling the herd a little bit, letting the firms that are going to fail, fail, and thus more can sort of live on the back end?

MS. PERINO: Well, I would point out again that, remember, investors -- Bear Stearns basically went from a company that was doing quite well to failure, and at $2 a share, I should think that those investors are seeing -- feeling today the consequences of that risk in a marketplace. But I would remind you that what's right for the markets and stability for the financial system had to be taken into consideration. And that's what the Fed decided to do, is to act quickly, to act decisively, to make sure that we could provide what's needed right now, which is stability and liquidity and orderliness.

And the Treasury Department is able to answer lots more of detailed questions, and the Fed certainly on historical questions in this matter.

Q But people who are facing, say, foreclosure, the individuals, the little guys who are facing a foreclosure are looking at the big guys getting government, if not brokered, certainly they're overseeing deals that are engineered to sort of keep the big picture financial community afloat, and they're saying, well, where's my boost of liquidity?

MS. PERINO: They're going to get that boost of liquidity in the form of a stimulus package and a tax rebate that's coming to them the second week of May.

Q But that's not going to save their houses.

MS. PERINO: The other way to help work on the housing issues is to take advantage of some of the programs that we have in place, to talk with HOPE NOW or Project Lifeline, for those who are in more serious dire straits, and also to work -- for us to continue from the administration to call on Congress to finally take action on Federal Housing Administration reforms, which we think are necessary to help homeowners across-the-board.

But I would remind you, and remind consumers all across America, that the decisive action taken by the Fed yesterday was precisely to prevent long-term economic harm to everybody in the United States, including, as you said, the little guy.
Right, so they are suggesting the 300 or 800 so dollars you and I get are the equivalent of the multi-billion dollar bail out of the investment industry? Right. When was the last time Reagan applied strategy of "trickle down economics" actually worked to help leverage the little guy up out of an economic hole she or he didn't create?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Uh Oh!

Sure fire way to get the market to tank even further? Add President Bush's sharp intellect to solving the fiscal woes of our country:
President George W. Bush plans to meet on Monday with top U.S. financial policymakers, the White House said, at a time of increased strains in credit markets and fears of a recession.
What's that sucking sound? That's the market drowning in corporate bail outs (read: Corporate welfare for the already rich (Bear Sterns ring a bell any one). Any one taking bets on if Bush will be able to fix this situation like he's fixed Iraq?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Dear President Bush, Thanks For The STD!

One of George Bush's educational mainstays beyond the nutty notion that bringing mediocrity to our schools via No Child Left Behind is good was "abstinence only" education. Of course, what does that get you? Apparently, uneducated kids with large amounts of STDs.
The first national study of four common sexually transmitted diseases among girls and young women has found that one in four are infected with at least one of the diseases, federal health officials reported Tuesday.
How much did it cost us to learn that abstinence education really is a flop (not unlike energy deregulation)?
The national policy of promoting abstinence-only programs is a $1.5 billion failure,” Ms. Richards said, “and teenage girls are paying the real price.”
I suggest all teens with STDs who were forced into abstinence only courses send a nice post card to the Whitehouse and to George Bush saying "Thanks for the STD, Mr. Bush."

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Meanwhile, Bush Leverages Young Iraqi Girl For Political Gain

As the bombs continue to kill our GIs in Bush's Iraqi "Democracy Spreading" experiment, W continues to prove he there is no low to which he will sink to advance his political agenda. While he was busy preaching to the choir, he took an opportunity to leverage the situation involving a young Iraqi girl for his own political gain:
THE PRESIDENT: This is Dr. Christian, Dr. Karla Christian, who really symbolizes the best of America. She and a team of hers have performed surgery on a little Iraqi girl who was discovered by United States Marines. People in Nashville raised the money for the family; they were supported by the Marines there in Iraq, some of the Marines raised money; and they sent this little girl, whose heart was ailing, to America, right here to Nashville. And Karla and her team healed the little girl and she's back in Iraq.

And the contrast couldn't be more vivid. We got people in Iraq who murder the innocent to achieve their political objectives -- and we've got Americans, who heal the broken hearts of little Iraqi girls. Ours is a compassionate nation, that believes in the universality of freedom -- and ours is a nation full of loving souls that when they find a stranger in need will lend their God-given talents to help that stranger. And that's precisely what happened.

DR. CHRISTIAN: Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: I want you to thank your -- thank your team there for all the good work they've done.

DR. CHRISTIAN: Thank you for all you've done.

The ultimate Irony would be if this little girl is subsequently blown up in some collateral damage scenario caused by Bush's war in Iraq, wouldn't it? Think of it, GIs find young girl needs expensive heart surgery, raise funds to get fix her up in the good old US of A, send her back to Iraq, and bingo, she's on the wrong side of an explosive vest, or gets accidentally smoked by some young GI busy greasing some bad guys in some Baghdad neighborhood. Could happen, no?

Sure this is a rather fanciful hypothetical, but certainly probable. The thing I find more reprehensible is Bush's lame attempt at advancing his agenda, trying to win the "defining ideological war" of our generation on the backs of a young girl.

Friday, March 07, 2008

$ 125K For Public School Teacher Salaries? Sounds Like A Good Idea To Me

I'm very much in favor of paying teachers 125K per year, particularly if the school year expands to a full year operation rather than this silly notion that kids these days need a summer off.
I would much rather put a phenomenal, great teacher in a field with 30 kids and nothing else than take the mediocre teacher and give them half the number of students and give them all the technology in the world, - Mr. Vanderhoek.
Sure kids need breaks, but not a full three months. That was a nice agrarian philosophy which was fine when every one had to be around to pull the crops in (which oddly enough happens mainly in the fall). But as some one who taught for a while at a school with a very active FFA, I know that life on the farm is much more challenging than the gift of summers off offers in terms of output on the farm. I recall students falling dead asleep in class because they spent the night birthing sheep in the tail end of October. But I digress.

Paying teachers what they are worth rather than the paltry sums they now receive is a long overdue notion that aught to be highly supported by our capitalistic oriented society. Bonus as well, for performance? Good idea. How many people are pissed when they don't get their annual bumps in the business sector or the bonuses that match their sales performance? Why should you expect less for a teacher?

Blog on friends. Blog on all.

Working The Economic Voodoo: Bush's Magic "Shot In The Arm"

If you listen to W, today, you would think we are all but one shopping spree away from fixing what ails our economy.
Secondly, the growth package will provide tax rebates to more than 130 million American households. These rebates will begin reaching American families in May. And when the money reaches the American people, we expect they will use it to boost consumer spending, and that will spur job creation, as well.
Well, we all wish that were true. Unfortunately, it's our reckless spending on wars and mortgages we can not afford that his killed George Bush's economic plan.

When a person suggest that all we need do is go out and spend our way out of recession, she or he misses the whole point. It's not spending that we have trouble with; it's spending without the means to cover the costs. All Bush is doing is feeding our habitual spending beyond our means by encouraging "retail therapy." That's like giving crack free to the local crack head. Before you know it the blow is gone and you are back to the debt ridden operation you had before the check arrived. Sounds like more of that twisted brand of GOP fiscal conservatism that put us where we are now; in a very large hole with no ladder big enough to reach the rim out.

Well, shoot, if I get one extra Starbucks Latte out of my rebate check I'll be happy, but I doubt it will create a new job. In fact, if I were responsible, I will simply have to sign over the rebate check back to the government to pay my tax bill in April.

Just out of curiosity, what do you plan to do with your check to accomplish the President's aims?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

If "We Cannot Impose Peace," Why The Hell Did We Go Into Iraq?

Don't you just love a president who likes to eat his cake and have it too? Have a look at this commentary from an unscripted President Bush as today he flummoxes his whole rationale for going into Iraq with one simple statement: "We can't impose peace."
Q Mr. President, as you mentioned, you know, as you approach the end of your term in office, you mentioned that you still feel that establishing the Palestinian state is still achievable. What is the exact vision that you have, you know, with this short time left?

THE PRESIDENT: Sure, I appreciate it. First of all, 10 months is a long time. May seem short to you, but it's -- there's plenty of time to get a deal done.

Secondly, I have visited with the leaders, you know, on a one-on-one basis quite frequently, and I understand that it's -- this is a difficult subject. But I also feel very comfortable with the commitment they have made to try to work out subjects that have been difficult for other leaders to work out in the past.

The role of the United States -- we can't impose peace. We can help leaders come to agreement and come to the table and make hard decisions. We can help facilitate the bridging of gaps, if there are gaps. And that's exactly what our diplomacy is in the process of doing.

And by the way, there is -- and one of the reasons why His Majesty is so important in this process, as the other leaders in the Middle East, including my close friend, King Abdallah of Saudi Arabia and President Mubarak of Egypt, is that both these leaders are going to need the support of the Arab world in order to make tough decisions. But first it's up to them. And so I'm optimistic that they can conclude tough negotiations. And we'll try to facilitate that.
First, you notice that Bush must have his head where the sun don't shine and the air ain't clear because otherwise he would know that the Israel/Palestine situation is so bereft with conflict and years of aggressions that it won't be solved in 10 months. Hell, it hasn't been solved from the outset of the establishment of Israel. What makes him think that simply by having "Condi over there" that it will get done.

Second, if we "cannot impose peace" on any nation, why did we go into Iraq in the first place? Really, as more GIs return with mental as well as physical wounds and the number of flag draped boxes get flown for burial in Arlington, the rationale seems less and less legit for having done it.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Killing Saddam "Was Thing Right Decision Then; It's The Right Deicision Today..."

One can never fault the president for going off message as he spins his reality his way. Have a look at this interesting response to a very interesting question and see what you think. While you read the president (unscripted as the way I like to read him) ask yourself if he is in denial:
Q Thank you. Mr. President, Mr. Prime Minister, the war in Iraq, if we could stay on that subject for just a minute. I mean, it's been going on for almost five years. Is there anything you would have done differently, Mr. President, if you had known back then in 2003 what you know today?

PRESIDENT BUSH: That's an interesting question. One thing I wouldn't do differently is leave Saddam Hussein in power. It was the right decision then; it's the right decision today; and it will be viewed as the right decision when history is finally written.

Look, I mean, there's going to be ample time to second-guess decisions, and I'll let the historians do that. A war is constantly changing, and what appears to have been an easy decision today might have been a lot difficult when you take it -- put it in historical context. And so my focus, sir, is moving forward and making sure this progress that we're watching continues.

And there's been some ups and downs, obviously. I mean, the great moments were, of course, the writing of a modern constitution for the Middle East, and votes for a president and a parliament. And then 2006 came along, and an enemy was able to stir up unbelievable sectarian hatred and violence. And so I had a choice to make, you know -- accept it and allow for failure, or do something about it. And obviously I chose the latter, which was -- I wouldn't call that exactly a popular decision. But if you follow popularity as your guide, then you sacrifice principle and vision.

And so -- look, this is a -- this will be an important chapter of my presidency, and they'll be analyzing these decisions for a long time. And I just got to tell you, I've got great faith in the capacity of democracy to be transformative, not only for the people of Iraq, but for the region. And that's why we're discussing with the Iraqis a long-term security agreement to have a -- have the kind of effect that will enable people to be confident to make hard decisions when it comes to reconciliation and political progress.

But the historians, I'm sure, will find ample -- well, there's some short-term historians already trying to find some ample opportunity to figure out what went right or what went wrong, what we could have done differently. But there's no such thing as accurate short-term history, as far as I'm concerned. There needs to be time for people to be able to see and put things in proper perspective.
If you ask me, the fundamental flaw with Bush's position is that one middle statement: as if any decision to enter war is "easy." I don't think so. That is the chutzpah driven notion that his position was and always has been right, and to make decisions based on faith over fact.

We are witnessing the very damaging effect of exactly that. When some one makes decisions based on beliefs and faith over fact, it seems that could be one thing we would expect a president to rectify. It's funny how the president interpreted this question, and even more disturbing was his answer.

What say you blogosphere?

Blog on friends, blog on all.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Bush: A Tragedy?

If only the consequences of Bush's legacy were fictional:
Is the story of George W. Bush in fact a tragedy? Many Americans, of course, believe that his presidency has been a tragedy for the nation and for the world. But Weisberg provides few reasons to think it has been a tragedy for Bush himself. He portrays Bush as a willfully careless figure, only glancingly interested in his legacy or even his popularity. “To challenge a thoughtful, moderate and pragmatic father,” Weisberg argues, “he trained himself to be hasty, extreme and unbending. He learned to overcome all forms of doubt through the exercise of will.” Tragedy, in the Shakespearean form that Weisberg seems to cite (although there is nothing tragic about Henry V either), requires self-awareness and at least some level of greatness squandered. The Bush whom Weisberg skillfully and largely convincingly portrays is a man who has rarely reflected, who has almost never looked back, and who has constructed a self-image of strength, courage and boldness that has little basis in the reality of his life. He is driven less by bold vision than by a desire to get elected (and settle scores), less by real strength than by unfocused ambition, and less by courage than by an almost passive acquiescence in disastrous plans that the people he empowered pursued in his name.
You decide. Bush: Triumph or Tragedy? Discuss...