President, How Dare You?
Even for a man who has made some of the stupidest, most ill-advised,
poorly thought out and badly constructed off-the-cuff comments
ever uttered by a high ranking government official, this was
way over the line.
For George Bush to declare that "we have sufficient forces"
in place to handle any armed threat from Iraqi insurrectionists
so "bring them on" is so lacking in common sense, so devoid
of compassion for those effected by the statement, so willful
a display of ignorance of how such a comment will be interpreted
by both foe and friend alike that it can be considered nothing
but indisputable evidence that he is by temperament and intellect
grotesquely unsuited for the office of the President of the
For a man who has never heard a shot fired in anger to stand
in a public forum and deliberately goad others to take violent
action against the men and women he is directly responsible
for is an abomination. How dare he be so callous? How dare
he be so hypocritical? How dare he be so stupid?
Laughing at his mangled syntax, absurd malapropisms and
ever growing litany of linguistic creations of Frankensteinian
proportions is one thing. When offered on topics of a purely
political nature such remarks are merely the window to a very
But when he is speaking in an official capacity as commander
in chief of the American Armed Forces, and as such every word
he says directly impacts the very lives of thousands of people,
such incompetency cannot be permitted or tolerated.
Mr Bush should first and foremost be ashamed of himself.
He should retract the statement at the first available opportunity.
He should apologize to every man and woman of the Armed Forces
of the United States who at this very hour are directly in
He should get down on his knees and beg the forgiveness in
advance of every mother, every father, every boy friend, every
girlfriend, every husband, every wife, every brother, every
sister and every friend of every man and woman who will die
because of his vacuous, vainglorious idiocy.
Bringing 'Em On
History will record that two months after declaring victory
in a made-for-TV photo-op aboard an aircraft carrier, the
man who started the war in Iraq responded to continued attacks
on Americans by, - well, encouraging more attacks.
It hadn't been a good two months. They were unable to produce
the huge threatening stockpile of "weapons of mass destruction"
and failed to demonstrate any Iraq-Al Qaeda connection. Since
those were the things that the war was supposed to have been
about - and it looks damn tacky to have fought a war just
because you felt like it - the war had to become a war to
liberate the Iraqi people from an evil tyrant. Unfortunately
the ungrateful Iraqis were reacting to their liberation by
looting, protesting and attacking American soldiers.
Polls showed that an increasing percentage of the public
had begun to think that things weren't going well in Iraq.
Some Democrats, groggily rousing themselves from a long hibernation,
actually began asking where the hell the damn weapons were
and how long the occupation was going to last - a few of them
were even asking for an investigation of whether the intelligence
had been bad, or whether it had been manipulated by Cheney,
Rummy et al.
The administration tried blaming it all on die-hard Saddam
loyalists and sent the troops out to round up the usual suspects
but the attacks continued. Ugly newspaper articles began to
appear about troop morale plummeting as the promise of a trip
home evaporated into many more months enduring 100 degree
heat while trying to keep order in one of the world's most
What to do? Obviously, it was time to play Mr. Macho. Nothing
impresses the public like strapping on the six guns and heading
out to the center of town to take on the bad guy.
So the little man whose testosterone level seems to bear
an inverse relationship to his proximity to harm's way was
apparently getting that old Dirty Harry feeling once again
at his impromptu press conference Wednesday.
When the inevitable question came about deaths of US soldiers
in Iraq, and what is rapidly degenerating into a guerilla
war that could last years, our boy switched quickly to macho
mode. "There are some who feel like that conditions are such
that they can attack us there," Mr. Tough-Guy told the assembled
reporters, "My answer is bring them on. We have the force
necessary to deal with the situation."
It's uncertain whether Bush's challenge to the Iraqi guerillas
and assorted insurgents represents the first time an American
President has ever challenged an enemy to attack American
soldiers. It's awfully hard, though, to imagine such unspeakable
stupidity emanating from Lincoln or Roosevelt. But it's not
at all surprising when it's coming from Bush.
Given the character that this man has exhibited since he's
been in office I don't think we should be at all surprised
when he so cavalierly dismisses the safety of U.S. service
people by using them as an excuse to display the type of class
that Mike Tyson exhibits at a weigh-in. But at least Iron
Mike has to face the person he taunts in a boxing ring. Bush
is taunting the Iraqis from 6000 miles away and behind a phalanx
of Secret Service guards. Hell, even Harry Callahan had the
bad guy in front of him when he told him to make his day.
Bush apparently can only play tough guy when somebody else
is going to have to suffer the consequences.
Ironically, Bush's assertion that the US has all the force
necessary to deal with any Iraqis who aren't adequately grateful
about being liberated came the same day that Reuters reported
that Paul Bremer, Bush's top administrator in the country
requested more troops to help quell the increasing violence.
Bremer's request, of course, is an admission that the US in
fact can't control the spiraling situation in Iraq and has
no solutions other than turning the use of force on the recipients
of US liberation.
Unsurprisingly within hours some Iraqis began taking Bush
up on his absurd bluster. Seven more Americans were wounded
in separate attacks on Thursday. Inevitably there will be
more force, more crackdowns and more anger and resistance
from the Iraqis.
"Though force can protect in emergency, only justice, fairness,
consideration and co-operation can finally lead men to the
dawn of eternal peace."
That statement was made decades ago by a real tough guy,
a man who fought real tyrants, ones that posed threats that
didn't have to be invented and a man who would never have
used those he sent into harms way as a prop for a photo-op
or rhetorical posturing.
His name was Dwight D. Eisenhower and fifty years ago he
held the office that Bush so demeans today.