Saturday, November 19, 2005

Wattle & Snood: They Kept Us Out of Vietnam

At first I ignored the reports that the Pentagon has a plan to start pulling troops out of Iraq because of course they have contingency plans for everything, so I didn’t see it as the big gotcha moment other bloggers did. But evidently what they’re really hoping for is to reduce the size of the American contingent of the occupying army to below the “magic number” of 100,000, say around the time of the November 2006 elections. That sounds just like the Bushies: a goal rooted entirely in PR and partisan, rather than military, necessity. And it’s a two-fer: they also hope to influence the December 15 Iraqi elections by leaking the existence of this plan: vote for the puppets and maybe you’ll see an end of the occupation.

How often does Bush go to church on a Sunday in the US? Well, he certainly made a point of doing so in China, albeit in one of the tame licensed Protestant churches. He could meet a dissident except, oh wait, they were all put under house arrest for the duration of his visit. When he’s talked about the importance of freedom during this Asian trip, mostly it’s about printing Bibles and so forth, not about the right to criticize the government. He also links freedom with “prosperity,” as if Asians are too greedy to value freedom on its own terms.

His father slipped quietly into China ahead of his visit, to tell Chinese leaders what Shrub really meant to say before he’s even said it. It’s just safer that way. No word on whether Neil Bush was also on the advance team, given his extensive experience of free Asian hookers.

The White House website is holding the traditional on-line vote to name the two turkeys who will be ceremonially pardoned for whatever crime it is that turkeys commit, possibly leaking Valerie Plame’s name to the press. They will then go to Disneyland. The choices on offer include “Marshmallow and Yam,” “Democracy and Freedom,” “Wattle and Snood,” “Scooter and Turdblossom” and “Blessing and Bounty.” Last year “Biscuits and Gravy” won out over, among other things, “Patience and Fortitude,” and I wrote that in America patience and fortitude will always lose to biscuits and gravy. I wanted “Shock and Awe,” but for some reason the White House site has no facility for write-in candidates. Unlike this blog. Go for it.

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