Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Is that it?

So, we've gotten our customary eight hours of sleep in the wake of President Bush's address last night, time for overtaxed brains to chew on words designed to make a straightforward and passionate case for sallying forth in Iraq. And I think my sleep-addled mind has finally developed a response.

Is that it?

After everything, the 1,744 troops killed and more killed weekly, the daily bombings that kill Iraqi civilians, the deceptions and even lies that got us into this war, the growing fear in mainstream America that this is turning into another Vietnam, that we shouldn't have even done this in the first place, that's all President Bush had to say?

We'll stay as long as it takes, not a day longer. We either fight them over there, or we fight them over here. Sept. 11. Sept. 11. Sept. 11. Sept. 11. Sept. 11. Blah, blah, blah.

Five times in his speech, Bush linked the Iraq invasion to Sept. 11, a bold deception that's been so repeatedly discredited that repeating it now serves as nothing more than a brazen lie. Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with Sept. 11. Yes, we know he was acquainted with some terrorists. Under President Reagan, we maintained an acquaintanceship with Saddam. Does that link us to his chemical weapons attacks on the Kurds? I think not. Yet, Bush persists in perpetuating this lie, not only because it works, but also because denying it now would serve as an admission that we devoted our military to some ridiculous tangent when we should have been fighting terrorists where they actually were. Of course, the terrorists have since been glad to migrate to where we are in Iraq.

I agree with Bush that since we're in this quagmire, we can't merely pull out now. The handful of liberals who propose this are just plain wrong. Also foolish would be a timetable for withdrawal. Still, Bush gave us no clearer picture of anything. Several questions are unanswered? What specific milestones or landmarks will we pass to let us know we're on the right track? What specific goals along the way shoud we be accomplishing? We know we eventually want peace, stability and democracy in Iraq, but what specific attributes will we see that will let us know that Bush really can declare "mission accomplished?" Bush clued us in on none of this last night, and I suspect it's because he doens't really know.

Of course many of the right-wing pundits this morning are crowing over Bush's alleged oratorical victory last night. You'd think our president had delievered the Gettysburg Address for these times. I'm certain Bush's base was sufficiently energized, not that they ever question anything he does. Yet I suspect mainstream America felt neither furhter enlightened nor mor energized by Bush's long string of platitudes.

Last April, the news media marked the 30th anniversary of the fall of Saigon by showing old film clips of the frantic last days there at the U.S. embassy. As I listened to Bush blather on last night, and when I hear Dick Cheney give transparent lies like "The insurgents are in their last throes," I can't help but envision those old clips showing the helicopters ascending from the embassy roof.

The postman cometh

An anonymous reader responded to my posting giving 10 reasons why I dislike Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt. Specifically, this reader makes a point on Blunt's use of taxpayer dollars to buy newspaper ads that essentially served as free campaign literature. I said the ads merely had Blunt's name in big letters, but our reader points out:

If I remember correctly, the pre-election ads also featured a flattering photo of our fair-haired future boy governor.

Yes, indeed. Thanks, kind reader, for pointing that out. Our tax dollars at work. I will say this, Blunt's still not as bad as our last Republican governor. Even non-Missourians will recognize the name John Ashcroft.

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