Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Obama’s Pretending the War in Iraq is Over speech: An age without surrender ceremonies

This time, it was the voluble Joe Biden who said it most succinctly: “We’re going to be just fine. They’re going to be just fine.” Obama spun that nonsense out at greater length, in a soporific monotone.


WHAT THIS MILESTONE SHOULD SERVE AS A REMINDER TO ALL AMERICANS OF: “But this milestone should serve as a reminder to all Americans that the future is ours to shape if we move forward with confidence and commitment.” Funny, I’d have said the last 7+ years of the Iraq war have shown that the future is not ours to shape, no matter how much misplaced confidence and commitment we exude.

MAYBE WE SHOULD BURN THAT DESK, JUST TO BE SURE: “From this desk, seven and a half years ago, President Bush announced the beginning of military operations in Iraq.”

“A war to disarm a state became a fight against an insurgency.” Here, Obama buys into the narrative that Bush began the invasion of Iraq to disarm Saddam Hussein. Wouldn’t want the smoking gun to come in the form of a mushroom cloud, you know.

EXCEPT FOR THAT WMD SNIPE HUNT, OF COURSE: “The Americans who have served in Iraq completed every mission they were given.”

WHY WE FOUGHT: “Our troops fought block by block to help Iraq seize the chance for a better future.” And I’m sure the surviving residents of those blocks are standing by their piles of rubble, just being grateful for that chance for a better future.

“So tonight, I am announcing that the American combat mission in Iraq has ended.”

“And Iraqi forces have taken the fight to Al Qaeda, removing much of its leadership in Iraqi-led operations.” And here (and elsewhere in the speech), Obama buys into the narrative that the Iraq war was about Al Qaida.

IT’S ABOUT FIVE MONTHS LATE FOR THAT “SENSE OF URGENCY” THING: “Tonight, I encourage Iraq’s leaders to move forward with a sense of urgency to form an inclusive government that is just, representative, and accountable to the Iraqi people.”

IRAQ = PAGE. “Now, it is time to turn the page.”

WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU WANT TO DO THAT? “This afternoon, I spoke to former President George W. Bush.”

I’M PRETTY SURE THERE IS SOMEONE WHO COULD DOUBT THAT: “Yet no one could doubt President Bush’s support for our troops, or his love of country and commitment to our security.”

HE NEVER WANTS US TO MAKE A MISTAKE: “But make no mistake: this transition will begin - because open-ended war serves neither our interests nor the Afghan people’s.”

“Over seven years before, American troops and coalition partners had fought their way across similar highways, but this time no shots were fired. It was just a convoy of brave Americans, making their way home.” So the big victory is that they didn’t shoot at us when we were leaving. Hurrah.

IT’S HARD TO GET TO KNOW SOMEONE YOU JUST SHOT OR BOMBED: “Along with nearly 1.5 million Americans who have served in Iraq, they fought in a faraway place for people they never knew.”

THE LIGHT OF ELECTRICITY MORE THAN TWO HOURS A DAY WOULD ALSO BE NICE: “They stared into the darkest of human creations – war – and helped the Iraqi people seek the light of peace.”

HOW WE MUST EARN VICTORY: “In an age without surrender ceremonies, we must earn victory through the success of our partners and the strength of our own nation.”

PAINTED GRAY AND UNDERWATER? “Our troops are the steel in our ship of state. And though our nation may be traveling through rough waters, they give us confidence that our course is true, and that beyond the pre-dawn darkness, better days lie ahead.” So, if I understand this metaphor correctly, we’re traveling through rough waters on a ship built out of troops (I’m picturing the pirate comic in Alan Moore’s Watchmen) in pre-dawn darkness to better days.

Today Obama also issued a proclamation for National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Just saying.

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