Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I watch Bush’s Iraq speech – oh God, make it stop – so you don’t have to

Because people in the White House still believe that the way to revive support for something is to have the Chimperor make a speech about it, Bush gave a “strategy for victory” speech today at Annapolis, although I’m pretty sure the Navy isn’t a big part of that strategy.

Actually, after listening to it, I’m not sure I heard any actual strategy. He did repeatedly refer to it as a “clear strategy,” so it may be see-through, which would explain a lot.

He also called it a national strategy, but he didn’t say which nation, and for most of the speech American troops were also see-through, invisible. Mostly he spoke about Iraqis. Good Iraqis, and bad Iraqis. The good ones have all joined the Iraqi army or police, all for altruistic reasons of course, no death squads here, and they are standing up so... well, you know the rest. They’re being trained and increasing in numbers and in every day in every way they’re getting better and better.

For the bad Iraqis, who Rumsfeld says we’re no longer allowed to call insurgents, Bush created a handy taxonomy, applying labels that are in no way useful in assisting understanding and which bear little resemblance to the actual people involved. They consist, he says, of Rejectionists, Saddamists & terrorists. Rejectionist, which sounds like a label Stalin might have used for his ideological opponents or kulaks or something, actually means Sunni. Evidently we’re going to “marginalize” these Rejectionists, he said it several times, but I don’t know what that actually means. I suspect he doesn’t either. Saddamists (shouldn’t it be Husseinistas?) are just a few guys, also Sunnis, and will also be marginalized or turned into margarine or something. Terrorists are defined as “affiliated with or inspired by Al Qaeda,” and Bush emphasized the foreigners among them; they’re like outside agitators and “These terrorists have nothing to offer the Iraqi people.”

Bush twice refers to violence as media events (“the suicide bombings and the beheadings and the other atrocities we see on our television” and “creat[ing] chaos for the cameras”), as if the terrorists were run by an Arab Karl Rove.

I fell into a hypnotic state after a while, but I could swear he made fun of Democrats for saying that his only plan is to “stay the course,” like they just made up the phrase themselves.

Anyway, if you were wondering what our mission in Iraq is, “Our mission in Iraq is to win the war - our troops will return home when that mission is complete.” As opposed to when the mission is accomplished, which was a couple of years ago.

And then it was over, leaving us all re-energized and re-dedicated to whatever it was he was talking about.

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