Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Dear Leader Speaks

Once again, Our Glorious Wartime Leader has squinted into the teleprompter and delivered himself of (someone's) speech:
Many listening tonight will ask why this effort will succeed when previous operations to secure Baghdad did not. Here are the differences: In earlier operations, Iraqi and American forces cleared many neighborhoods of terrorists and insurgents - but when our forces moved on to other targets, the killers returned. This time, we will have the force levels we need to hold the areas that have been cleared.
Let's see, now: there are 140,000 American soldiers in Iraq, and the Decider's planning to send another 20,000. That's one part in seven. The Decider has apparently calculated that what seven people can't do, eight people can. Hmmmmm ... that's calculating things rather precisely. I would never have guessed that running these urban counterinsurgency campaigns was such an exact science. Impressive. Especially for a guy whose entire military experience consists of keeping the blue skies over Texas free of supersonic Vietcong top guns.

Now for an exercise in decoding:
Fellow citizens: The year ahead will demand more patience, sacrifice, and resolve. It can be tempting to think that America can put aside the burdens of freedom. Yet times of testing reveal the character of a Nation. And throughout our history, Americans have always defied the pessimists and seen our faith in freedom redeemed.
Now, I'm not just picking on Bush; I think this is pretty universally true of U.S. presidents, at least in the post-World War I era. When they say "patience" and "resolve," that means one or more of the following: more taxes; another few trillion on the national MasterCard; or increasing worthlessness of the currency (if the increasing debt is monetized). When they say "sacrifice" ("sacker-fice," if it's Dubya), that means you or someone you know is headed for some hellhole half the world away; after all, you didn't think he meant the twin BushBabes -- you know, Jenna and, uh, the other one -- are joining the Army, did you? Get serious. When they talk about "freedom," that means they plan to get even busier intercepting your e-mails, listening in on your phone calls, strip-searching you and stealing your things in airports, opening your first-class mail, defining "free-speech zones," and imprisoning your fellow subjects citizens indefinitely without charges, legal counsel, or trials. It's one of those reciprocal relationships: the more Prexy mouths the word "freedom," the less actual freedom we have.


lemming said...

put aside the burdens of freedom - what on earth does that mean??!

Jeff Pruitt said...


I have a thought I wanted to run by you. After listening to the President's speech I'm even more concerned than I was before. Namely, I feel that this President wants to escalate this war beyond Iraq into Syria and Iran.

I too wondered why he thought 20k more troops would solve all the problems - I mean even his own generals told him it wouldn't. But now I think I know the answer. He doesn't WANT it to work. He sees this as his only chance to escalate this into a regional war.

My fear is that after another Friedman (that's 6 months) we'll evaluate this and see it was a total disaster. And what the President will then claim is that it WOULD have worked if not for those pesky Iranian and Syrian insurgents. He'll use this argument to push for air strikes against both those countries.

I see a Nixonian response coming in the future - i.e. troop reductions (minimal) while widening the conflict. I suppose time will tell if I'm right about this but what say you?

Bartleby said...

Jeff: I didn't write about it, but I had similar thoughts, when the Decider was going on about interrupting the alleged flow of arms from Syria and Iran. I think you may very well be correct.

I've heard the idea of his making war on Iran pooh-poohed on the grounds that the American ground military is a broken and exhausted shell, and that he basically can't do it. That may be true, but he can still carry out an air campaign of some kind. I fear that's the sort of thing he's apt to find appealing.

lemming: I'm pretty sure it means nothing beyond "another chance for Dubya to say 'freedom.' " It's an attractive word, from his point of view. It doesn't have all those soft consonants, as does "strategy" (schtrateghy) that he smooshes and slurs together and sounds amazingly drunk when saying. And, most important of all, it isn't "nuclear" (nookyoolur).

Chibboleth said...

It's perfectly obvious why W wants 20k more troops. He wants the Democrats to fight him on it, so that they can be made to look like soft-on-terror ineffectual pinkos and hopefully not beat up the Elephant too badly in 2008.

There's an ironclad rule to be applied whenever listening to W's rhetoric. Foreign and domestic problems are always secondary concerns to domestic politics.

Jeff Pruitt said...

I don't think it's that simplistic in this case. I mean if that's really his motivation then surely he's seen the polling - depending where you look anywhere from 70-90% of Americans are against sending more troops...