Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Funds and flexibility or chaos and confusion

Bush’s little address to the nation continued the alliteration theme, demanding a bill to “provide our brave men and women in uniform with the funds and flexibility they need.”

“Instead,” he said, “members of the House and the Senate passed a bill...” (Not the actual House and Senate, just members of the House and Senate) “...that substitutes the opinions of politicians for the judgment of our military commanders.” Politicians have opinions, military commanders have judgment.

He continued, “It makes no sense...” (So politicians have opinions, but they don’t have sense) “to tell the enemy when you plan to start withdrawing. All the terrorists would have to do is mark their calendars and gather their strength”. Or gather their calendars and mark their strength.

“Setting a deadline for withdrawal is setting a date for failure”. That date was January 20, 2001.

Okay, really, I enjoy alliteration as much as the next blogger, but c’mon: “the bill would impose impossible conditions on our commanders in combat.... This is a prescription for chaos and confusion”.

He again describes the spending bill as a “political statement” and suggests “now it is time to put politics behind us,” which is actually a statement about what the Democrats should do because Bush, of course, doesn’t engage in politics himself.

He says we know the surge is working because sectarian murders are down in Baghdad although “we continue to see spectacular suicide attacks”. I’ve gone back and forth in my mind about what the Bushies are up to when they continually describe bombings as “spectacular” attacks. I think the implication is that when we pay attention to them, we are doing exactly what the terrorists want. It’s not wrong to point out that terrorism is in part show biz, but there is also an implication that the problem they pose for the US is less in terms of the actual damage they cause (what’s a few dozen more dead Iraqis more or less?) than the PR damage. Bush didn’t say “there continue to be spectacular suicide attacks,” he said “we continue to see spectacular suicide attacks”.

He adds, “These attacks are largely the work of al Qaeda -- the enemy that everyone agrees we should be fighting.” Of course what he means is that some of the terrorists call themselves Al Qaida, and have only the most tenuous connections with Osama and that lot (remember Osama, George?) (no, really, I’m really wondering: do you actually remember Osama, George? Tall guy, beard?).

He ended with one of those “why do you hate the troops?” moments that seem more despicable with every passing day: “Yet whatever our differences, surely we can agree that our troops are worthy of this funding – and that we have a responsibility to get it to them without further delay.”

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