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No Way Out (of Iraq)

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Manix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 03:23 AM
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No Way Out (of Iraq)
By Doug Saunders


<snip>


It had already been the bloodiest week of the Iraq occupation, with the highest death tolls and the most pitched and desperate battles, when the President of the United States entered the East Room of the White House to face his nation on Tuesday night.

In the next hour, George W. Bush gave one of the strangest and most opaque performances of his presidential career. At the time, for those of us watching, it seemed that he was stubbornly, blindly sticking to his guns, refusing to change his Iraq plans by an angstrom despite terrible failures on the ground.

Since then, it has become apparent that something entirely different had happened: The speech was a complete reversal and admission of defeat.




<snip>


In speaking to the world this week, Mr. Bush must have cast his eye on two earlier dates, both in the spring, both involving presidents who had found themselves in difficult military entanglements abroad.

On April 21, 1961, John F. Kennedy stood before his public to discuss why his efforts to bring democracy to the newly totalitarian Cuba, through the badly botched Bay of Pigs invasion, had become futile. "There's an old saying that victory has a hundred feathers and defeat is an orphan," he lamented. "Further statements, detailed discussions, are not to conceal responsibility, because I am the responsible officer of the government." Cuba would not be invaded again.

On March 31, 1968, Lyndon B. Johnson delivered a speech in the White House announcing that the effort to bring democracy to Vietnam had gone horribly wrong. "With America's sons in the fields far away . . . with our hopes and the world's hopes for peace in the balance every day, I do not believe that I should devote an hour or a day of my time to any personal partisan causes. Accordingly, I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your president."

On April 13, 2004, George W. Bush said nothing of the sort. His speech and press conference were mostly notable for their utter lack of contrition or apology, and he certainly did not offer to step down. Nevertheless, those who best understand the politics of Iraq -- and the politics of American elections -- realized that Mr. Bush's words fit squarely into that tradition. He had conceded failure, not on the battlefield but in the political arena, at home and abroad.




Globe and Mail
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opihimoimoi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 07:54 AM
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1. Yup, that was his way of saying I screwed up.
Edited on Sun Apr-18-04 07:54 AM by opihimoimoi
He is Toast
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 09:22 AM
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2. This fellow is much too kind, and he continues
to make the argument that we need to stay "to provide order"
when of course that will do nothing of the kind, but will only
perpetuate disorder.
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SodoffBush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 09:49 AM
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3. I have yet to see *'s 3rd rate performance
Does anybody have an URL for it?
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Miss Authoritiva Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 03:06 PM
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4. Groundhog day for Bush
"In speaking to the world this week, Mr. Bush must have cast his eye on two earlier dates, both in the spring, both involving presidents who had found themselves in difficult military entanglements abroad."

I strongly doubt that Bush's command of American history would go back as far as Kennedy and Johnson. Bush's press conference was a primetime variant of groundhog day: he was coming out of his burrow to see how much longer the military winter might last.

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Jack Rabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 03:26 PM
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5. Mr. Saunders misunderstands Bush
The most important thing to understand about Bush is simply this: Bush is a liar.

Bush will say whatever fits the occasion. He knows that as the titular head of the Republican Party, some people will be willing to argue that the Earth is flat is he says so; he also knows that as the titular President of the United States, some people will believe him because they do not want to believe that their President would lie to them, even one who has lied as often and brazenly as Bush.

Mr. Bush will meet the June 30 deadline for turning over Iraqi sovereignty. It won't be that difficult. After all, the sovereignty that is being turned over is just a hollow word; the announcement that any sovereignty was being turned over was just another lie. Foreign troops will remain in Iraq and Iraq will be under a constitution that prohibits the Iraq government from revisiting any decision imposed on them by Bremer's regime. That's not sovereignty. That is colonialism.

Bush will not admit defeat. He will merely frame the discussion in such a way that he comes out a winner. Even when troops are being killed and the Iraqi people reject what he has imposed on them.
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