Thursday, October 13, 2005

Growing confusion and some misunderstanding

From the Schwarzenegger Prop 75 campaign, a cartoon every bit as subtle as the Governator himself.

Speaking of subtle, at MacDill Air Force Base, Secretary of War Rumsfeld suggested that troops should set their fellow citizens straight and dispel the “growing confusion and some misunderstanding” about The War Against Terror (TWAT). Evidently, “the public impression is so different from the reality.” Why does “the public” hate America? Rummy wants the troops to send out lots of emails to present the public with “a balance of what’s happening, as opposed to an imbalance that they’re receiving through normal channels.” If you have not yet been the lucky recipient of one of these Rumm-e-mails, here is some of the suggested content: “Well, you can tell those who ask such questions that you and your friends across the world are standing on the front lines to protect them and to safeguard their freedoms, as well as your own.” That should certainly take care of that growing confusion and some misunderstanding.

Speaking of growing confusion and some misunderstanding, George Bush says he wants Syria to be a “good neighbor to Iraq.” Oh, and it should also not “agitate killers in the Palestinian territory.” Really, agitating killers is probably not a good idea anywhere.

Bush also video-conferenced today with some American soldiers in Tikrit. He told them that “the American people are standing strong with you.” Well, not actually with them, that would be kinda dangerous; he was actually watching them on a large tv from several thousand miles away, so it was more sort of a metaphorical standing with them than an actual standing with them although, to be fair, he really was standing.

He added, “Thank you for all your work. When you [get] back to the United States, if I’m hanging around, come by and say hello.” The soldiers, who were not pre-screened or carefully prepped in any way, were able to answer Chimpy’s probing questions:
“Do the Iraqis want to fight, and are they capable of fighting?” he asked. He was told they were. [AP]
And Bush informed them that in Iraq they were facing “an enemy that actually has a philosophy.” Oh, the horror.

The NYT’s Joel Brinkley, following Condi Rice in her travels, has been doing some nice work in sneaking irony past his editors. Tuesday:
Rice, beginning a trip to Central Asia, urged the region’s leaders on Monday to hold “elections that are free and fair,” even though in one state she plans to visit nearly all the likely opposition candidates have been jailed and in another laws have been passed that stack the odds in favor of the present rulers.
And today:
“Afghanistan is inspiring the world with its march toward democracy,” she said here, just hours after insurgents fired three rockets into downtown, wounding two Afghans.
The latter story also highlighted the introduction of suicide bombing into Afghanistan, which you’d think would have gotten a little more notice than it has.

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