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Bring 'Em On
July 4, 2003

Mr. President, How Dare You?
By Michael Shannon

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 United States.

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 underdeveloped intellect.

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 harm's way.

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

By Mike McArdle

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 disorderly places.

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.

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