Saturday, April 28, 2007

Literally, not figuratively, restoring America’s place in the world


A reminder that the effects of any war are felt for a very long time indeed: former British army corporal Leslie Croft has just died as a result of an injury sustained from a shell blast in 1943.

The Iraq situation has certainly created a new range of business opportunities for people with entrepreneurial spirit. Case in point: people who race to the scenes of bombings and, pretending to be medics (indeed, some of them actually are), make off with the corpses of victims and hold them for ransom.

The NYT referred today to remarks made by Bush in a January meeting with Congressional leaders which I don’t seem to have caught at the time. 1) “I said to Maliki this has to work or you’re out.” You have to wonder if he really said that to Maliki in those words. You also have to wonder what the congresscritters said. 2) Asked why he thought the surge would work, Bush responded, “Because it has to.” You have to wonder if he believes that’s actually some sort of logical argument.

Sigh, no you don’t.

At the California Democratic Party convention today, Hillary Clinton called Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” Day four years ago “one of the most shameful episodes in American history. ... The only mission he accomplished was the re-election of Republicans.” To which Bush no doubt responded, “Yeah, and your point is?”

And Joe Biden said that the American people are “looking for someone literally, not figuratively, to restore America’s place in the world.” North America, right? In between Mexico and that nice country with all the hockey?

Sorry, I hate it when people say literally when they don’t mean literally.

And Barack Obama said something about how he would “turn the page” on Iraq. While I don’t know what that actually means, after 6 years of Bush it’s refreshing to see someone using a book metaphor.

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