Saturday, August 12, 2006

Stubborn things

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the alliterative Peter Pace, says, twice, that “if we were to come home, the war would simply follow us home.” Well, maybe it would go away again if you just didn’t feed it.

Bush in his weekly radio address claims that the rather nebulous alleged terrorist plot (RNATP) “is further evidence that the terrorists we face are sophisticated”. Yup, blowing up planes is the height of sophistication. He is deeply disappointed that “some have suggested recently that the terrorist threat is being used for partisan political advantage.” I don’t know who this Sum guy is, but why does he always say those things about our leaders? And what sort of a furrin name is Sum, anyway?

He goes on, “We can have legitimate disagreements about the best way to fight the terrorists, yet there should be no disagreement about the dangers we face.” What a guy, he’ll allow you disagreements, as long as you confine yourself to legitimate disagreements and allow him to define all the facts. In his world, of course, there are no real opinions, there are only facts; everything else follows from those facts. There are facts on the ground in Iraq which will determine, like a mathematical formula, the correct number of American troops. There are facts like the existence of terrorists, of which we have just had a “stark reminder,” but which Sum “forgets.” Or worse, Sum denies the fact that we are at war; Bush “respectfully disagrees.” Bush’s speeches are filled with the facts that he “understands” or “realizes” and which he “reminds” people of, rather than trying to persuade them.

He repeated the line that the US is safer than it was before 9/11, which seems to be giving hostages to fortune and which will run endlessly (except on Fox) if there is another terrorist attack. Did he learn nothing from “Mission Accomplished”?

For better or worse, Bush has largely kept out of the Middle East crisis, speaking to Olmert once (Olmert called him) and Siniora twice over the last month, once this morning. Here’s the photo the White House released of that phone call.

“Hey Fouad, guess what I’m wearing. What’re you wearing?”

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