Thursday, December 21, 2006

My Thoughts on Bush Press Conference

I took some notes while watching the President's end-of-year news conference yesterday.

- Bush called the Iraq War a "sustained commitment" and that we need a larger military capable of sustaining that commitment. The commitment is an endless one. Look at your son or daughter across the dinner table tonight. An endless war may eventually require their sacrifice - perhaps their lives. Will you be able to tell them you did all you could to avoid a situation where they be coerced - perhaps legally bound - to fight for an immoral and failing course?

- Bush encouraged Americans to "go shopping" because it contributes to a vibrant economy while, during the same press conference, he said we'll need a vibrant economy to fund this war. In essence, Bush wants you to shop so you can do your part to keep us on a war footing. Now he's got me thinking. I felt like I'd sealed the sad fate of some innocent civilian in Iraq this morning when I bought my panty hose.

- Because I have eyes, I couldn't help but observe Bush's facial expression as he said, "My heart breaks on a regular basis" (a weird way of putting it) for the troops who've lost their lives in this failed war. He looked like a blank slate. I couldn't detect emotion that would match the words he was saying. He had a steely stare as he spoke about heartbreak and regret. If I were to pick out what I thought looked like a sociopath, I would've picked him. He looked like a sociopath.

- Bush said, "I understand the consequences of failure." That's good. Whether he's able or willing to admit it, he's dealing with those consequences now because he has already failed. What does a President do after failure? Does it make sense that he escalates violence, heaping it upon the unfortunate consequences of his already-existing failure? That doesn't make a lick of sense to me. Does it make sense to you?

- A reporter asked Bush why he said we were winning In Iraq - as lately as last month - when we weren't winning, as Bush now freely admits. Bush replied that it was because he's convinced we're going to win. His fantasies are now an admitted part of his lying to the American people.

- Bush has set a mission that is almost wholly dependent upon the necessary actions of non-Americans who are not under our rule, control, or command. He said his plan for Iraq depends upon Iraqis to achieve our goal. He used the words, "We want to help" the Iraqis. America doesn't make preemptive unilateral attacks because we want to help someone. This was supposed to be about national security. Bush is making it sound like a social mission. Bush tried to generate caring and sympathy for "moms and dads across Iraq" as if he believes we were the Rescue Mission rather than a nation sacrificing our sons and daughters for a mission with no clearly delineated goals.

- Bush has bastardized and ruined the word "liberty." When he talks about "the advance of liberty", it calls to mind one word: Empire. Bush says it will "take a while for liberty to overcome the ideology of hate." I'd love to know what that has to do with the civil war that's going on in Iraq today. When Bush says the "process frees people, liberates people", he neglected to mention it creates anarchy, chaos, and that it kills people if you initiate the war half-assed, you aren't well prepared for the insurgency to come, and you refuse to change the course for over three failing years.

- A reporter named Karen was treated like a criminal for asking Bush a certain question. Bush acted like the reporter was trying to play "gotcha" with him when, in reality, she was representing the millions of confused Americans who are looking to this maniac for leadership and who get only a defensive brush-off in return.

- Bush is in denial about the last election. He said he "couldn't believe people want us to get out of Iraq now." Man, is he out of touch if he believes what he's saying. He says he thinks the message from voters in the 2006 election was that they want "bipartisanship" in Congress. He refuses to see that the majority of his own people want our troops out of Iraq and we want to see the process started right now. Bush said, "We gotta help the Iraqis deal with it." No, we don't "gotta," President Bush. Not the way you're going about it, anyhow. We want our troops back home and we want the process started innediately.

- Bush said that sectarian violence in Iraq is "a big thing that didn't go right." He acts as if no one ever could have anticipated it. We know better. All along, Bush has hugely underestimated the usefulness of the many forms of action that do not employ violence. Jonathan Schell warned us many years ago that "The United States must learn to lose this war-- a harder task, in many ways, than winning, for it requires admitting mistakes and relinquishing attractive fantasies. This is the true moral mission of our time.."