October 8, 2002
The Greatest Threat to World PeaceThe New York Times this morning reports that Bush gave "a forceful argument" in his speech last night for "disarming or attacking Iraq." What the Times calls a "forceful argument" was pretty much the same old thing, with a slightly moderated stance as Bush pretended that an attack on Iraq is not already a done deal.
He said he wants a free hand to take military action, not because he will do it, but in case "military action is necessary," he wants the U.S. to "speak with one voice." Oviously he is not talking about the voice of the people, which overwhelmingly opposes action without the U.N.
The strategy, the Times quotes a White House official as saying, is to "use Congress as leverage to bring around the public."
Dubya was doing his "presidential" act, for which he suppresses with great effort his normal frat boy-clown demeanor and feigns a haughty manner, with heavy-lidded eyes, and pursed lips that twitch periodically as he suppresses his habitual smirk. His prepared text is punctuated with high-flown phrases like "to the contrary" and he reads it in a monotonous, hypnotic rhythm, feigning the mannerisms of a wise teacher. But it's like casting Moe of the Three Stooges as Einstein. A genius may be able to portray an idiot, but not the reverse.
He repeated the word "nukuler" about 40 times, but it was all conjecture about what Saddam "could" do. He could get nukuler weapons. He could attack us at any time.
He called Saddam Hussein many things, including a "dictator," which is something he has said he would like to be on several occasions. He called Saddam a "student of Stalin," which is probably shooting a little high for Saddam. It's unlikely Bush himself knows much about Stalin, but someone behind him has apparently studied Stalin, as evidenced by the so-called Patriot Act, the TIPS spy-on-your-neighbor program, the suspension of habeus corpus, the official statements that Americans "should watch what they say," and disagreeing with the president "helps the terrorists," i.e. the enemy, which means treason, which qualifies you for a military tribunal.
Bush said Saddam is a homocidal maniac and the greatest threat to world peace. Saddam may be a homocidal maniac, but the greatest threat to world peace is the Bush administration.
He yakked a bit about being "a friend to the people of Iraq," and told one of the most atrocious lies that ever escaped from the throat and over the tongue of a living organism without causing a seizure: "if military action is necessary, the United States and our allies will help the Iraqi people rebuild their economy and create the institutions of liberty."
He also said, erroneously, that "the situation could hardly get worse." Of course this is a man of such limited imagination he alleges that no one ever thought of flying airplanes into buildings before September 11.
-- By David Cogswell