BUSH FACES THE MEDIA AFTER REPUBLICAN POLL MASSACRE
RUMSFELD RESIGNS BEFORE HE IS LYNCHED, BUSH STILL FULL OF PRAISE FOR "GOOD FRIEND"
& "TRUSTED ADVISOR"
The Democrats have taken control of the both the US Senate and Congress after Americans voted overwhelmingly against the horrorshow of sex scandals, corruption, graft and lies that infested the Republican Party.
Bush, of course, infamously said last week that if the Democrats are victorious then, "the terrorists win". He has admitted this was pure election spin. A good Karl Rove line, indeed, but yet another example of how much America has moved on from the Rove smear-and-fear tactics of 2000, 2002 and 2004.
We'll come back to what life is going to be like for Bush in the last two years of his presidency now his worst nightmare has come electrifingly true, but for now we're going to whip through a dramatic press conference President Bush gave today.
Bush began by sounding it up like he was delivering a sermon :
To our enemies : Do not be joyful...Then it was onto the first big announcement. Donald Rumsfeld, Defence Secretary, "good friend", "trusted advisor" was out of the Pentgaon.
To the people of Iraq: Do not be fearful.....
To our brave men and women in uniform : Do not be doubtful....
...after a series of thoughtful conversations, Secretary Rumsfeld and I agreed that the timing is right for new leadership at the Pentagon.What Bush means is that they both agreed that if Rumsfeld didn't go, they were going to face something close to a mutiny from the US military, the majority of whose leadership despise Rumsfeld and his absurd plans to replace the majority of US ground forces in warzones with robots (I wish I was kidding on that, I'm not).
Rumsfeld, by ignoring the advice of people who actually served in the military when it came to total force numbers needed for the invasion and occupation of Iraq, and by denying soldiers the right kind of body armour and armoured Humvees, sent hundreds of American soldiers to their deaths for no other reason than he was a stubborn arsehole, who refused to take good advice when it was raining down on his head.
Our military has experienced an enormous amount of change and reform during the last five years while fighting the war on terror, one of the most consequential wars in our nation's history. Don Rumsfeld has been a superb leader during a time of change.
Yet he also appreciates the value of bringing in a fresh perspective during a critical period in this war. Don Rumsfeld is a patriot who served our country with honor and distinction.
No doubt, Bush will hang a medal around his neck at some point.
Bush also took the opportunity to push the new, improved 'Reduced Expectations' that will determine when the United States can declare victory in the 'War On Iraq' and get the hell out.
...that is a country that can govern itself, sustain itself and defend itself.The definition of when Iraq is "secure" and the US can pull out gets lowballed more and more with every passing week.
Bush was questioned today about why, when he was asked last week if he was going to do anything about Rumsfeld, he said that the defence secretary would stay on as long as he was president. As would vice president Dick Cheney.
Of course, Bush was already hunting around for a new defence secretary when he said that. So he lied to the media, he lied to America, but worst of all he lied to US soldiers.
Why did he lie? Pure politics :
I didn't want to inject a major decision about this war in the final days of a campaign..The answer that was a complete and utter lie.
....the only way to answer that question and to get you on to another question was to give you that answer.
Curiously this is the first time Bush has been this honest about being so dishonest.
Strange days, indeed.
On Americans confusion about exactly what Bush intended to do about the failed methodologies of fighting the 'War On Iraq' :
Somehow it seeped in their conscious that my attitude was just simply "stay the course."Hilarious. Bush used the term "stay the course" more than 30 times in the past two years alone. Another Rove-ian mantra tosses aside.
What did Bush have to say about his vast and vainglorious claims that the Republicans would win the mid-term elections?
I thought we were going to do fine yesterday. Shows what I know. But I thought we were going to be fine in the election.And then there's Karl Rove. The Evil Genius of American Electioneering. Bush's Most Trusted Advisor. He came into Bush's firing line for a good-hearted (presumably) dig at how badly he screwed up the elections :
I obviously was working harder in the campaign than he was....Compared to numerous other press conferences, Bush was actually in fine form, cracking decent jokes, reminding people that he has been a politician for a long time and that he's used to being called the worst of the worst during the electioneering process, when the real insults fly. As Bush himself put it :
...this isn't my first rodeo.But he also stated, categorically, what he believed was the most important work he had to do in the next two years :
...winning this war on terror is, by far, the most important priority.Bush is going to find that the Democrats don't believe that winning the terror war is the most important priority for Americans in 2007, particularly when such a goal is so specious and vague.
How do you declare Victory in a worldwide 'War On Terror'?
Countries like Sri Lanka and Pakistan, amongst the many, suffer terrorist attacks that have little to with the US, and with whom the US has little influence or involvement. They certainly aren't going to send large numbers of troops into Pakistan or Sri Lanka to fight the terrorism there, so how can worldwide victory ever be declared?
Victory can never be declared in the 'War On Terror', and that is exactly the point. The war will last as long as what remains of Bush Co. can keep it going, and that of course depends on how long Al Qaeda, and its aspirants, keep up the fight.
Security is no doubt a very important priority for the Democrats, but so is healthcare, education and making sure the dirty Republicans pay for their crimes against America.
Short of a major terrorist attack on the United States, it seems very likely that the 'War On Terror' will slip into the background for a while.
Bush has talked before about how he believes the 'War On Terror' would last for generations.
Today, talking about how he intends to work with the Democrats, he explained his belief in more detail :
I believe the Democrats want to work together to win this aspect of the war on terror (meaning the Iraq War).
I'm also looking forward to working with them to make sure that we institutionalize to the extent possible steps necessary to make sure future Presidents are capable of waging this war.
Because Iraq is a part of the war on terror, and it's -- I think back to Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower. Harry Truman began the Cold War, and Eisenhower, obviously, from a different party, continued it.
And I would hope that would be the spirit that we're able to work together. We may not agree with every tactic, but we should agree that this country needs to secure ourselves against an enemy that would like to strike us again. This enemy is not going away after my presidency.
What will probably surprise most Americans is just how many issues that are important to Bush are ones that he can work with the Democrats on getting right, including the immigration and border control issues.
It may be way too early to make such a prediction, but perhaps Bush's last two years in office are not going to be as grim as most of the punters, and pundits, are predicting. If Bush is willing to listen, to flex and bend and not brickwall the Democrats at every turn (as so many Republicans who've lost their seats enjoyed doing so much), Bush's last years in office may actually prove to be his most successful.
Go Here For The Full Press Conference