the Mighty Have Fallen
By Michael Shannon
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George Bush is rightfully infamous for his ongoing losing
battle with the English language. Without question, this man
has more created more malapropisms, unleashed more misstatements
and generally mangled his native tongue more often and more
thoroughly than any other public figure in American history.
But even with this dubious track record safely tucked beneath
his arm, the comments he made on May 10th at the Pentagon
in defense of his Secretary of Defense are staggering in their
inarticulacy and in their effect.
First of all, Mr. Rumsfeld is not supposed to be "courageously
leading our nation in the war against terror." Mr. President,
pardon me for pointing this out but, God help us, you are
supposed to be leading our nation, not one of your cabinet
members. Perhaps this was just another slip of the tongue,
but then again we all - well maybe you don't - know what Freud
said about slips of the tongue.
Even more important than who is actually running the show
was Mr. Bush's remark that the Secretary was "doing a superb
job."By what definition is this man doing a superb job? To
use such a superlative to praise Mr. Rumsfeld is either to
show a compete lack of understanding of what the word means,
or even more frightening, a complete disregard for the reality
of the circumstances over which Mr. Rumsfeld presides.
Practically nobody, regardless of how partisan, is even
attempting to argue anymore that the occupation of Iraq is
going as planned. The litany of mistakes, from the trivial
to the strategic, in the "postwar" occupation of Iraq - Bush
and his minions seemed to be the only people who still believe
the war ended just because Mr Bush said it did - grows more
lengthy and bloody by the hour. This is not the format for
a retelling of those failures. For such a list I recommend
the article by Peter Galbraith, "How to Get Out of Iraq,"
in the May 13th edition of the New York Review of Books.
It is merely enough for the purposes of this discussions to
acknowledge that they exist.
As bad as it has been going, the revelations of the past
week have made a bad situation into a hellish one. It is a
statement of the obvious to note that the United States Army
- an institution that Mr. Rumsfeld has had a, if you pardon
the use of the word, tortuous relationship with since taking
office - is currently embroiled in the most disastrous public
relations debacle since the My Lai massacre four decades ago
in Vietnam. And while that unholy assault on innocents was
by far more horrific and lethal, this current nightmare come
to life has the benefit of being captured in high definition
digital quality; available for downloading at the touch of
button from Casablanca to Karachi.
While the un-named king of yore may have lost his empire
for the want of a nail, Mr. Bush is perilously close to losing
his for a few too many pixels.
That the situation in Iraq has devolved to this sickening
nadir is hardly surprising. I am a charter member of the "Bush
is the worst President in recent history, and quite possibly
of all time, Club." I found the thought of this man being
in charge of the government of the United States an embarrassing
and frightening one from the moment he anounced his candidacy.
As such, I have long been personally aware of the "damned
if we do and damned if we don't" position in which he
has put the loyal opposition. Due to the fact that the stakes
are so high - environmentally, economically, fiscally and
of course, in regards to foreign affairs and national defense
- as a patriot it was impossible for me to wish him to fail.
That he would fail was never in question. In spite
of his near-mythical status post 9/11, he remains what he
always has been; an all hat and no cattle Daddy's boy who,
if he went by any other name than Bush, would have safely
found his level of anonymous mediocrity a long time ago.
Mr Bush's voluminous inadequacies were not lost on the upper
echelons of the Republican party, which is precisely why they
worked so diligently to reassure the public that this neophyte
was to be surrounded by well-seasoned professionals in the
most key departments of his administration. Unfortunately
for the entire world, they chose to fill those positions with
men of stilted imagination and meanness of spirit. Mr. Rumsfeld
and his ever-loyal mentor and protégé, Dick Cheney, embody
those characteristics as if they invented them.
Although as I stated above, as we are witnessing with our
disbelieving eyes, the consequences of these men's failures
are so dire that I would never willfully wish them to come
to their putrid fruition. But even with that being said, I
cannot deny the how satisfying it will be to watch these smug,
self-absorbed, arrogant SOBs forced to face the wrath of a
people and cause betrayed.
Contact Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org