"Pay close attention to that man behind the curtain!"

Friday, November 28, 2003

Turkeyhawk in Iraq

Those on the right are probably huffing out their chests just about now as Bush has made a sneaky Thanksgiving visit to Iraq in order to create more footage for his campaign commercials.

Here are just a few examples of the lies coming from the dark side in the wake of the latest episode of Karl Rove's Monsterpiece Theatre:
Michael Graham: "WHAT CAN PRESIDENT BUSH DO IN BAGHDAD THAT SADDAM HUSSEIN CAN'T? Appear in public. If that doesn't send a message to the Ba'athists and their would-be allies, I don't know what does." [Michael Graham dot com]

Rick Brookhiser, National Review: "How right that he went; how heartened I am that he saw the rightness. Enjoy the moment. Tomorrow, Maureen Dowd will tell us it was a glitzy, glammy secret sideshow; Paul Krugman will explain that it distracted from the good economic numbers, which are really bad economic numbers..." [LINK]

Jonah Goldberg, ibid.: "I think they'll make fools of themselves if they criticize him at all. They should just say, 'It was a nice thing to do, our troops deserved it...'" [Click LINK in above paragraph, then scroll up.]

[Emphasis mine]
"Appear in public"?! Now that's a rather naïve statement. Despite saying in his speech: "I have a message for the Iraqi people...," Bush was obviously not speaking to the Iraqi public. He was speaking to American soldiers. Michael, it's remedial English time for you.

"Good" numbers? Maybe Rick meant "numb-ers," as in "things which make us numb*, and maybe he meant Bush's "Kodak moment" holding the turkey.

Jonah may be the biggest fool of all. He won't find anyone in my "blogroll" who says anything that runs counter to the troops deserving something special. But I need to say something more that's a bit more direct: What the troops don't deserve is to be lied to by Bush and to be used by him for his own personal agenda. That's not what soldiers are for. The best support that can be given to the troops is anything which gets them back home as soon as possible and keeps them away from similar situations in the future.

We'll have to wait and see if Bush got all his lines for the commercials right on the "first take" this time.

I imagine that the downward trend in Bush's poll numbers will slow down -- or even turn around -- slightly because of this act. But, don't be duped. Chickenhawk Bush (who required 14,000 police to protect him in England) was still AWOL. The war in Iraq is still illegal, there are still no weapons of mass destruction, and they're still "bring[ing] 'em on."

"Foreign insurgents" my ass!

UPDATE: The latest news is saying that Hillary Rodham Clinton has been to Baghdad after visiting troops in Afghanistan on Thanksgiving Day. Condi Rice, in a separate news report, said that Bush's trip to Baghdad was a spontaneous suggestion by Andy Card. Spontaneous after learning of Senator Clinton's visit? Newsmax is calling Senator Clinton's trip a "Frantic Bid to Outdo Bush" and saying that the soldiers' reaction to Bush's unannounced visit "had to rankle the former first lady." I'm highly suspicious of their words "frantic" and "rankle," both of which are outright assumptions. First of all, Senator Clinton announced her trip ahead of time (in late September, in fact), and she has been "outside the security zone," according to a Clinton spokeswoman quoted in the Newsmax article.

Allow me to paraphrase Michael Graham's question above: What can the former First Lady do in Baghdad that Bush can't? You got it. "Appear in public." If that doesn't send a message to the Bushies and their wannabe team leaders, then Ted Rall is right about the effects of Reagan's education budget cuts.

* WEEKEND UPDATE (11/30/2003): In case the "numb-ers" above weren't enough for Rick Brookhiser, he should check out the CNN article titled "Soggy start for shoppers" or the one linked there called "Bargains not such bargains."
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