Bush started his speech great – he said he had the high honor and distinct privilege to be the first president to utter these words: “Madam Speaker.” I felt a real warm feeling inside. Then, only a few lines later, he delivered a sentiment that got me so mad I wanted to pull out my entrails and strangle a rodent with them.
He said we must “keep faith with those we sent forth to defend us.”
Well, blow me with a meat grinder.
“We sent forth to defend us?” Listen, who is this “we” he is talking about? His “we” does not include me, and it does not include the majority of our people. More important, our troops are not in Iraq to defend us.
He sent our kids to Iraq for two reasons. Number one, to head off the oil deals that Saddam Hussein was signing with the Russians and the Chinese and get those deals for his Texas oil buddies. Number two, he wanted permanent military bases in Middle East to secure our oil interests. There’s a bill now before the Iraqi Parliament that will take Iraq’s oil business away from the Iraqi people and hand it over to our oil companies, in which our oil companies get to keep 75% of their oil profits.
There you have it: the real reason our troops are fighting in Iraq.
Buys his own hypocrisy
Bush’s hypocrisy is astonishing. But here’s the rub: this is a man who buys his own hypocrisy. He actually believes in the neocon dream of bringing democracy to the Middle East, which he again defined as part of what victory would mean in Iraq, besides the usual BS of linking Iraq with the war on terror (plus other thumbsuckery like the war on terror being “the defining ideological struggle”: listen, the fight against millions of Communists with nuclear weapons — now that was a defining ideological struggle, not having to police a few thousand Caliphate crazies).
Not only is Bush a big fat hypocrite lying to us, he’s being a big fat hypocrite lying to himself. It takes a special kind of dry drunk to be that pathologically misguided. He’s lived in his own spin so long, he has become it.
“Keep faith?” The man has not kept faith with our troops or with us. He lied us into the war and has never stopped lying to us. He is still not keeping faith with our troops, because he is now sending more kids into harm’s way. The only faith he has kept is with his oil buddies. If the oil law goes through, and our troops stay in Iraq to protect the interests of Big Oil, he will have kept the faith he started out with. The business about bringing democracy to the Middle East is just a gloss on his real faith, which by now he may be too much of a hypocrite or a fool or a nut to admit that to himself.
Interesting side issue: the two times the GOP listeners got most enthusiastic in their applause was when Bush mentioned keeping taxes low and constraining trial lawyers – more proof of the GOP’s personal greed and their belief that corporations should be free to harm people without being held accountable. What a despicable bunch of elitists.
I thought the rebuttal by Democratic Senator Jim Webb was brilliant. Webb obviously wrote his speech himself, being a novelist and all. His speech was everything Bush’s speech was not. It was honest, straightforward, personal and devoid of hysteria. And he had some great historical references.
He explained that he, his Dad, and his brother fought in the military not because of politics, but out of love of country. He mentioned his son who is in Iraq. This is a marked difference between him and the GOP chickenhawks — and obviously the reason Nancy Pelosi chose him for the rebuttal. Kudos to her for picking him and not taking this important speech opportunity for herself.
Wall St. and Main St.
Webb made two big points. The first was domestic. He said that our economic news seems to be about two different countries. There’s Wall Street, where the economy is doing great, and Main Street, where it’s not. He said when he started working, CEOs earned 20 times what the average worker earns, and now the ratio is closing in on 400 times. It takes a worker one year to earn what a CEO earns in a day. We’re splitting along class lines. The middle class, he said, “is losing its place at the table.”
About Iraq, he said the war was mismanaged and unnecessary. He talked about his Dad, who flew cargo planes into Berlin, and was unable to live with his family for three years. He said our leaders owe us their sound judgment for sacrifices like these, which they displayed when his Dad was supplying Berlin. He said we expect from our leaders that “the threat to our country is equal to the price we might pay.” I thought that was a great line. Obviously, the threat to us from Iraq was and will never be equal to the price we are paying, so far a cost of 3,050 American lives and $400 billion (estimated by some to actually amount to two trillion bucks).
He said we need a policy that takes “our soldiers off the streets of Baghdad,” the absolute opposite of what Bush is doing.
And then he brought up two great historical analogies, when he referred to two former Presidents – Teddy Roosevelt, who took on the robber barons of his day, and Eisenhower, who brought the Korean War to an end.
It’s amazing that George Bush is such a bad president. Even his father, a very average president, now appears to be a colossus compared to his son.
Bush Senior famously wept when he recounted the story of how his son Jeb lost his first run at becoming governor of Florida, but came back to win in his second attempt. Why did Bush Senior weep? Because when Jeb lost, George W. won the governorship of Texas, and the mantle of potential presidential candidate fell on George instead of Jeb. The wrong Bush became president. I surmise that Bush Senior not only wept because of this, but because of what transpired.
What a tragedy George W. Bush has been for our country, for the Middle East, and for the world. We got a guy who can stand up in front of Congress, the nation, and the world and preach that we must “keep faith with those we sent forth to defend our country.”
Excuse me while I throw up.