Bush trots out the Great Conflation yet again
You could see this coming a mile away. It’s so blatantly phony that one need not be prescient to figure it out beforehand. Like everything else this snake-oil salesman says, it reeks of deceit so obvious that every American’s intelligence should be insulted.
As I write, we are four days from the 9-11-01 commemoration, but instead of using the occasion to pay tribute to those who perished on that saddest of days, he will again take advantage of it to perpetuate the Great Conflation. Just to demonstrate the transparent treachery of the Duhcider, here’s what will/did happen on or about Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2007.
Surprise, surprise, the whitewashed Petraeus report will be issued to coincide with 9-11. As we now know from the just-released Bush biography, Dead Certain by Robert Draper, the long-awaited report is but another stalling tactic, buying this administration a little more time to run out the clock so that the incoming (Democratic) administration will have to put Humpty Dumpty back together again because he was either powerless or unwilling to do so.
He had no intention of leaving Iraq, not after the 2006 GOP bloodbath in the House and Senate, not after the Baker-Hamilton report, and certainly not after his hand-picked general’s testimony.
And, as the rest of America learned a couple of weeks ago what many of us already knew, Gen. Petraeus himself will not even write the report. It will be filtered through the White House so as to reflect the Duhcider’s stance, which is completely at odds with reality. The report will say – this is so easy – that the surge is going quite well, that progress is being made… but more time is needed. (Stop me if you’ve heard this.) It will claim that to pull out now is to invite disaster, that our only option is to stay the course until the mission is accomplished. Of course, it won’t say exactly what that mission is or how we’ll know when it’s accomplished, but that’s beside the point because Bush will be back on the ranch by then, “building up those coffers.”
On this sixth anniversary, as every year, he will use the remembrance ceremonies to remind us that the battle against terrorism is hard work, that we must fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them here and that (again, stop me if you’ve heard this) Iraq is the central front against Islamo-fascism. He’ll tell us we’re turning the corner, that we’re taking the fight to them and that through perseverance, freedom will prevail – although he probably won’t repeat the phrase he used to the Australian prime minister last week: “We’re kickin’ ass.”
I have a hunch he won’t mention the fact that six years after he swore he’d take bin Laden dead or alive, the guy’s still on the loose, mocking his bumbling foe and thumbing his nose at the rest of us. He may not remind us that the war on Iraq has taken 800 more American lives than were lost on 9-11. He’ll certainly fail to mention that no Iraqis were on the planes but that 15 Saudis, his and his father’s long-standing business associates, were. And he may ignore the fact that the half trillion dollars it has cost us could have paid for universal health care, buoyed the coming Social Security shortfall, attacked global warming and funded college educations for every underprivileged teenager in America.
No, what we’ll get is what we’ve always gotten from the Duhcider: macho rhetoric followed by reckless, ill-conceived decisions followed by lame, nonsensical justifications for failed policies followed by refusals to accept responsibility followed by a calamitous disconnect from reality followed by more empty bravado.
But the most sickening aspect of all this is that he has taken this day, this day that should be a day of quiet remembrance and reverence for the sanctity of life, and turned it into his personal justification for a war that he himself started against the wrong enemy. He will wrap himself in the flag yet again, play on the angst and horror we felt then and continue to feel now, trot out the conflation between Saddaam and 9-11 for the umpteenth time, appeal to a warped sense of might-makes-right patriotism and blame the Democrats for wanting to end the bloodshed he caused.
Sadder still, some of the Democrats and most of the Republicans will vote to continue funding the war for fear of being cast as soft on terrorism, weak on national defense and not supporting the troops. He will get his extra $50 million, the escalation will continue, he’ll ask for more funding and get it again and again, and next year at this time we’ll be three weeks from the election and he’ll be off the hook.
And bin Laden will still be at large.
Ogi may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, heard Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m. on “The Dusty Dunn Show” on WGOS 1070 AM, and seen on “Triad Today” Fridays at 6:30 a.m. on ABC 45 and Sundays at 10 p.m. on WMYV 48.