Monday, August 22, 2005

Bush Speaks

Paul Morse, White House

For sixty years the cause of war has been bolstered by the automatic assumption that since the Nazis had to be fought to the point of total military defeat, this is sufficient reason to justify any future war….

…Those who believe that the current war in Iraq is a blow for peace have never experienced peace, or else they are willing to accept the anti-logic by which you have to kill others in order to bring them peace.—Deepak Chopra, Huffington Post, August 22,2005

That’s one point of view. Here’s another:
The lesson of September the 11th, 2001, is that we must confront threats before they fully materialize…So the second part of our strategy is to take the fight to the terrorists abroad before they can attack us here at home…From the beaches of Normandy to the snows of Korea, courageous Americans gave their lives so others could live in freedom…In a single lifetime, many of you have seen liberty spread from Germany and Japan to Eastern Europe, to Latin America, to Southeast Asia and Africa and beyond…The generation of men and women who defend our freedom today is taking its rightful place among the heroes of our nation's history…we have confidence in our cause, because we know that freedom is the future of every nation, and that the side of freedom is the side of victory.—White House web site, “President Honors Veterans of Foreign Wars
at National Convention”August 22, 2005
…And Mom, and Apple Pie, and Howdy Doody too. That’s nice. Any plans to get us out of Iraq? Any ideas on the effect of US military overrunning in the form of might-makes-right the Islamic world of culture and tradition? How many more times will 9/11 be mentioned in Bush speeches to trump up the backing for the Iraq occupation? What has World War II got to do with Iraq and Saddam Hussein? Or 9/11 for that matter? Why are the VFW’s clapping at their faces being slapped back and forth by a presumptuous imbecilic notion--that the war to liberate Europe from a killer of millions equals a pre-emptive incursion against a non-existent threat in oil-rich Iraq?

Dr. Chopra is enlightened and enlightening beyond many of our mortal capabilities of forgiveness and insight. Yet truly, the history of the world proves that wars don’t solve any political problem. The subsequent peace and compromises in fact provided the security of life and limb.

Religious intolerance exists on both sides. The inability to accept and respect dissimilar views of the world is present. The creation of a fictitious "them" who is always wrong, bad, barbaric, and evil is a common thread in reports from both sides.—Chopra

Finally is the illogical constant Bush mantra: bring the fight to the foreign shore to keep it from coming home. That Bush can keep repeating this with a straight face, weeks after the bombings in London, is a warped tribute to his, and Cheney’s, resolve that saying the same thing over and over, true or not, will ultimately make it so.

With the anti-war movement finding new momentum behind grieving mother Cindy Sheehan, Bush acknowledged the fighting in Iraq is difficult and dangerous. But he told the Veterans of Foreign Wars national convention the fight is necessary to keep terrorists out of the United States.”-- By Nedra Pickler, Associated Press Writer

And as for the Cindy Sheehan Bashers, here’s one take from Frank Rich’s intelligent column this past weekend:

Casey Sheehan's death in Iraq could not be more representative of the war's mismanagement and failure, but it is hardly singular. Another mother who has journeyed to Crawford, Celeste Zappala, wrote last Sunday in New York's Daily News of how her son, Sgt. Sherwood Baker, was also killed in April 2004 - in Baghdad, where he was
providing security for the Iraq Survey Group, which was charged with looking for W.M.D.'s "well beyond the admission by David Kay that they didn't exist."

…As Ms. Zappala noted with rage, her son's death came only a few weeks after Mr. Bush regaled the Radio and Television Correspondents' Association banquet in Washington with a scripted comedy routine featuring photos of him pretending to look for W.M.D.'s in the Oval Office. "We'd like to know if he still finds humor
in the fabrications that justified the war that killed my son," Ms. Zappala wrote.

…Mr. Bush's stand-up shtick for the Beltway press corps wasn't some
aberration; it was part of the White House's political plan for keeping the home front cool. America was to yuk it up, party on and spend its tax cuts heedlessly while the sacrifice of an inadequately manned all-volunteer army in Iraq was kept out of most Americans' sight and minds.—Frank Rich, The Swift Boating of Cindy Sheehan NY Times August 21, 2005

I emailed a politically like-minded friend today, “When do you think they'll start the Bush/Cheney impeachment hearings?” She replied, “Fat chance on the Bush/Cheney impeachment.” And she’s on my side. I don’t blame her reaction one bit.

Among all Americans, 36% approve of the way Bush is handling his job as president and 58% disapprove. When it comes to Bush’s handling of the economy, 33% approve and 62% disapprove.
Among Americans registered to vote, 38% approve of the way Bush is handling his job as president and 56% disapprove, and 36% approve of the way Bush is handling the economy and 60% disapprove. For
a little perspective, recall that Richard Nixon’s approval rating in the summer of 1973 (when the Watergate scandal was in full swing) was
.--Bush: Less Popular Than Nixon During Watergate, Think

Too bad we don’t have that “vote of confidence” they rigged up in English Parliament generations ago. Here, in the good ole USA we have fixed terms for our elected officials. Unless, of course, they “commit treason, high crimes or misdemeanors.” Incompetence on the job, sending troops off to war unprovoked, and lying to congress and we the people every day, seem to me to constitute any or all of the impeachable offenses listed. In the end, it is up to we, the people, to be responsible for our government, as we were charged to do by the framers of the Constitution, and the great leaders including Washington and Lincoln.

As far as the word “freedom” that George W. Bush bandies about so freely, and honoring the dead who fought bravely in war—here’s Lincoln’s take on what direction we should take. Remember, he’s not talking about “freedom” in Iraq that’s in peril of ending, but right here in America:

It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.—Gettysburg Address

Here’s another concept of “freedom:”

My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.—JFK Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961

It ain’t “mom and apple pie,” but don’t that “together” word sound nice?

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