July 4, 2003
More Cracks in the FacadeFormer Special Forces officer Stan Goff spent plenty of time fighting for the U.S. in Vietnam, Haiti and Colombia. Counterpunch published an eloquent expression of Goff's rage at George W. Bush's comment to "Bring 'em on" to those who would attack U.S. soldiers. Goff knows well what those soldiers' lives are like in Iraq, and burned with anger when he heard that "George W. Bush, dressed in a suit with a belly full of rich food, just hurled a manly taunt from a 72-degree studio at the 'non-existent' Iraqi resistance."
Bush has his formula down pretty well and he sells that swaggering-tough-Texan image very successfully most of the time. But someone as deeply corrupt as Bush is going to sometimes reveal his true character. It's inevitable. He doesn't give a rat's ass about the man on the front line. Those are only chess pieces to him. Normally he tempers his responses more and keeps his true character fairly well hidden.
But as Goff points it in this piece, "Even chauvinist paranoia has a half-life, it seems. His legitimacy is being eroded as even the mainstream press has discovered now that the pretext for the war was a lie. It may have been control over the oil, after all."
Bush has better political instincts than his father, and he had the benefit of watching his father attempt to construct a phony front, pretending like he was just a good ole boy, when he's an east coast aristocrat related to Queen Elizabeth. Junior is much more convincing, but it is all calculated. Rove studies the opinion polls ardently and uses them to guide Bush in his image creation. Bush doesn't really know the people he speaks to and how they really feel about things. He can barely imagine them. And he and his whole family conceal their enormous contempt for "the common man," the rifraff, or whatever term they use among themselves. Bush tried his "wanted dead or alive" thing with Osama bin Laden and in the aftermath of the horror it played very well. So he fell into riffing on that theme, but this time he went too far.
Maybe people are starting to get hip to this whole scam.
An article about this same issue in a Reuters release is interesting. It looks into the question at some length, makes some fascinating observations, then ends with a quote from "Brookings Institution presidential scholar Stephen Hess". That certainly sounds impressive. Check out Brookings' website. It subtitles itself "independent research shaping the future." A right wing elitist future, I dare say. A future in which their kind can make lots of money from war and its spoils. Today the lead article is under the heading "Privatized Military Industry". It uses the nice term "peacekeeping" for the war, occupation and plunder that is an essential component of the racketeering of the Bushes and their friends.
Not terribly surprising, the Presidential Scholar defends Bush. "My observation is he's saying exactly what the American people want him to say, and saying it even in a way that they would want him to say it," Hess said. Then he goes on to dismiss the whole subject as a trivial exercise. "Obviously we're going into a presidential election era and one expects the opposition to oppose. That's their job. But the sort of response that somehow he was inviting the enemy to attack us I think is more than a stretch."
Isn't that exactly what Bush did? Did he not say, "Bring 'em on."? This is the world of "Don't believe your eyes and ears, ignore your instincts, and just trust me."
"Is it a high crime?" A good discussion of the question in sunspot.net. An LA Times editorial takes on Rumsfeld's contention that the attacks in Iraq are not being carried out by "guerrillas." It's called "They Act Like Guerrillas".
John Farmer in the Star Ledger writes, "Who says George W. Bush failed to make any post- Iraq war plans? Of course he did. You think he's dumb or something? From the very beginning, our president knew exactly what he'd do once the war was over -- he'd launch an all-courts, cross-country fund-raising campaign to fuel his re-election effort. And he's been as good as his word. It began with his landing, warrior-style (no throwing up allowed here), on the carrier Abraham Lincoln to declare, formally, that the fighting in Iraq was over. Done. Finished. Kaput. Break out the champagne." But, Farmer says, the "war president is a lost cause."
See the Wall Street Journal for "U.S. Deaths in Iraq Send Political Ripples".