September 2, 2007


Going to get coffee this morning, we heard the sounds of the last week--Bush fawning over Al Gonzales, Larry Craig claiming he is not and has never been gay, etc. One of the sound clips was Bush, I think, speaking to some veterans association (one of the few places he gets a positive hearing--as ridiculous as that sounds given the treatment of veterans) and doing his whole, "Imagine an Iraq dominated by Shia militias backed by Iran, and where Al Qaeda has established sanctuaries to train for attacks against the rest of the world, including the US."

Good god. Does this guy even know how to communicate in a different way? SOF just shook her head and said, "be afraid, be very afraid." That is all he has. He is a one-note band--and off key at that. Rove asserts that Bush will be positively viewed as a man of vision, but he also said that he was proud to work with a President who tried to bring the country together. I don't know how anyone can assert that. What Rove may want to believe in what is left of his soul is irrelevant. What Rove brought to the table was a scorched-earth tactic of destroy your political adversaries no matter what the cost--and scare the living shit out of the American people.

Now Bush is left with only that. He has lost the ability to force the destruction of his political opponents. But he can still scare the American people, or at least try.

But he should be ashamed of himself. Assuming the man is capable of shame or self-reflection. I have seen proof of neither.


SOF called the war a complete cluster, and just shook her head at what it has become. Behind the scenes generals are admitting that this current surge is unsustainable without some future action. Either they institute a draft, or they extend the tours from the already extended 15 months to 18 months or longer. They used to be 12. The draft is the political third rail right now. If Bush were to institute the draft, then all my Republican friends who don't like this war, but who are not effected would all of a sudden pay attention. If their kids were available to be drafted, they might actually take some action. Of course, if Bush were to institute the draft, he might be impeaced by his own party at that point. Their political fortunes would be dead, and they know that.

But it just makes you weep for what this country has become in 7 years. Less than 7 years, actually. We went from having a strong military and some ability to threaten bad countries to one caught in a morass of Iraq. We went from a country where the social safety net to one where a hurricane can completely destroy a city and conservatives can say, "hey, stop your bitchin." We went from a country that had some level of moral authority to one that tortures. Tortures! We went from a country where conservatives like John Yoo could complain about the very existence of secret court warrants as a threat to democracy, to one where John Yoo could argue that Bush shouldn't even get warrants at all. We went from a country where the Justice Department was the crown jewel of Federal service to one where you got a job by pledging your allegiance to the worst President in the world and assuring your interviewer that you were neither gay or had ever propositioned another man in a men's room, AND had the proper stance on Roe.



We all fear now that Gen Petraus' report will be so spun by the White House that we will not get an honest reading on what is going on. Remember, everything is political for this White House. Well, we might get other takes--I guess it just depends on how effective Bush and Fox News are at disseminating that spin.

But there are other voices like this one where a retired British General blasts the American approach
Sir Mike, who took command of the British Army one month before US-led forces invaded Iraq, said Mr Rumsfeld was “one of those most responsible for the current situation in Iraq”.

Crucially, the general writes, he refused to deploy enough troops to maintain law and order after the collapse of Saddam’s regime, and discarded detailed plans for the post-conflict administration of Iraq that had been drawn up by the US State Department.

In the book, Sir Mike says he believes the entire US approach to tackling global terrorism is “inadequate” because it relies too heavily on military power at the expense of nation-building and diplomacy
Yeah, relies on military power and then doesn't send enough troops. Sometimes I wonder if the entire Bush administration grew up eating Chinese toys or something.


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