Sunday, December 31, 2006

George W. Bush - The 50 Dumbest Things I Ever Said

Not only dumb, but ignorant, foolish, innapropriate and for the Number One entry, downright demented and dangerous.

50. "I promise you I will listen to what has been said here, even though I wasn't here." -at the President's Economic Forum in Waco, Texas, Aug. 13, 2002

49. "We spent a lot of time talking about Africa, as we should. Africa is a nation that suffers from incredible disease." -Gothenburg, Sweden, June 14, 2001

48. "You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test.'' -Townsend, Tenn., Feb. 21, 2001

47. "We both use Colgate toothpaste." -after a reporter asked what he had in common with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Camp David, Md., Feb. 23, 2001

46. "Tribal sovereignty means that; it's sovereign. I mean, you're a - you've been given sovereignty, and you're viewed as a sovereign entity. And therefore the relationship between the federal government and tribes is one between sovereign entities." -Washington, D.C., Aug. 6, 2004

45. "I glance at the headlines just to kind of get a flavor for what's moving. I rarely read the stories, and get briefed by people who are probably read the news themselves." -Washington, D.C., Sept. 21, 2003

44. "I'm the commander - see, I don't need to explain - I do not need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being president." -as quoted in Bob Woodward's Bush at War

43. "I am here to make an announcement that this Thursday, ticket counters and airplanes will fly out of Ronald Reagan Airport." -Washington, D.C., Oct. 3, 2001

42. "The war on terror involves Saddam Hussein because of the nature of Saddam Hussein, the history of Saddam Hussein, and his willingness to terrorize himself." -Grand Rapids, Mich., Jan. 29, 2003

41. "I saw a poll that said the right track/wrong track in Iraq was better than here in America. It's pretty darn strong. I mean, the people see a better future." -Washington, D.C., Sept. 23, 2004

40. "Oh, no, we're not going to have any casualties." -discussing the Iraq war with Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson, as quoted by Robertson

39. "I hear there's rumors on the Internets that we're going to have a draft." -presidential debate, St. Louis, Mo., Oct. 8, 2004

38. "Haven't we already given money to rich people? Why are we going to do it again?" -to economic advisers discussing a second round of tax cuts, as quoted by former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neil, Washington, D.C., Nov. 26, 2002

37. "We need an energy bill that encourages consumption." -Trenton, N.J., Sept. 23, 2002

36. "After standing on the stage, after the debates, I made it very plain, we will not have an all-volunteer army. And yet, this week - we will have an all-volunteer army!" -Daytona Beach, Fla., Oct. 16, 2004

35. "Do you have blacks, too?" -to Brazilian President Fernando Cardoso, Washington, D.C., Nov. 8, 2001

34. "This foreign policy stuff is a little frustrating." -as quoted by the New York Daily News, April 23, 2002

33. "I got to know Ken Lay when he was head of the - what they call the Governor's Business Council in Texas. He was a supporter of Ann Richards in my run in 1994. And she had named him the head of the Governor's Business Council. And I decided to leave him in place, just for the sake of continuity. And that's when I first got to know Ken and worked with Ken." -attempting to distance himself from his biggest political patron, Enron Chairman Ken Lay, whom he nicknamed "Kenny Boy," Washington, D.C., Jan. 10, 2002

32. "It is white." -after being asked by a child in Britain what the White House was like, July 19, 2001

31. "I couldn't imagine somebody like Osama bin Laden understanding the joy of Hanukkah." -at a White House menorah lighting ceremony, Washington, D.C., Dec. 10, 2001

30. "For every fatal shooting, there were roughly three non-fatal shootings. And, folks, this is unacceptable in America. It's just unacceptable. And we're going to do something about it." -Philadelphia, Penn., May 14, 2001

29. "I don't know why you're talking about Sweden. They're the neutral one. They don't have an army." -during a Dec. 2002 Oval Office meeting with Rep. Tom Lantos, as reported by the New York Times

28. "You forgot Poland." -to Sen. John Kerry during the first presidential debate, after Kerry failed to mention Poland's contributions to the Iraq war coalition, Miami, Fla., Sept. 30, 2004

27. "I'm the master of low expectations." -aboard Air Force One, June 4, 2003

26. "I'm also not very analytical. You know I don't spend a lot of time thinking about myself,
about why I do things." -aboard Air Force One, June 4, 2003

25. "I know what I believe. I will continue to articulate what I believe and what I believe - I believe what I believe is right." -Rome, Italy, July 22, 2001

24. "We need to counter the shockwave of the evildoer by having individual rate cuts accelerated and by thinking about tax rebates." -Washington, D.C. Oct. 4, 2001

23. "People say, how can I help on this war against terror? How can I fight evil? You can do so by mentoring a child; by going into a shut-in's house and say I love you." -Washington, D.C., Sept. 19, 2002

22. "I wish you'd have given me this written question ahead of time so I could plan for itI'm sure something will pop into my head here in the midst of this press conference, with all the pressure of trying to come up with answer, but it hadn't yet.I don't want to sound like I have made no mistakes. I'm confident I have. I just haven't - you just put me under the spot here, and maybe I'm not as quick on my feet as I should be in coming up with one." -President George W. Bush, after being asked to name the biggest mistake he had made, Washington, D.C., April 3, 2004

21. "The really rich people figure out how to dodge taxes anyway." -explaining why high taxes on the rich are a failed strategy, Annandale, Va., Aug. 9, 2004

20. "My plan reduces the national debt, and fast. So fast, in fact, that economists worry that we're going to run out of debt to retire." -radio address, Feb. 24, 2001

19. "You know, when I was one time campaigning in Chicago, a reporter said, 'Would you ever have a deficit?' I said, 'I can't imagine it, but there would be one if we had a war, or a national emergency, or a recession.' Never did I dream we'd get the trifecta." -Houston, Texas, June 14, 2002 (There is no evidence Bush ever made any such statement, despite recounting the trifecta line repeatedly in 2002. A search by the Washington Post revealed that the three caveats were brought up before the 2000 campaign - by Al Gore.)

18. "See, free nations are peaceful nations. Free nations don't attack each other. Free nations don't develop weapons of mass destruction." -Milwaukee, Wis., Oct. 3, 2003

17. "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." -State of the Union Address, Jan. 28, 2003, making a claim that administration officials knew at the time to be false

16. "In Iraq, no doubt about it, it's tough. It's hard work. It's incredibly hard." -repeating the phrases "hard work," "working hard," "hard choices," and other "hard"-based verbiage 22 times in his first debate with Sen. John Kerry

15. "The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him." -Washington, D.C., Sept. 13, 2001

14. "I don't know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority." -Washington, D.C., March 13, 2002

13. "But all in all, it's been a fabulous year for Laura and me." -summing up his first year in office, three months after the 9/11 attacks, Washington, D.C., Dec. 20, 2001

12. "I try to go for longer runs, but it's tough around here at the White House on the outdoor track. It's sad that I can't run longer. It's one of the saddest things about the presidency." -interview with "Runners World," Aug. 2002

11. "Can we win? I don't think you can win it." -after being asked whether the war on terror was winnable, "Today" show interview, Aug. 30, 2004

10. "I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we're really talking about peace." -Washington, D.C. June 18, 2002

9. "I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn't do my job." -to a group of Amish he met with privately, July 9, 2004

8. "Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed." -speaking underneath a "Mission Accomplished" banner aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, May 1, 2003

7. "We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories And we'll find more weapons as time goes on. But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them." -Washington, D.C., May 30, 2003

6. "Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere!" -President George W. Bush, as he narrated a comic slideshow during the Radio & TV Correspondents' Association dinner, Washington, D.C., March 24, 2004

5. "If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator." -Washington, D.C., Dec. 19, 2000

4. "There's an old saying in Tennessee - I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee - that says, fool me once, shame on - shame on you. Fool me - you can't get fooled again." -Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 17, 2002

3. "Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB-GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country." -Poplar Bluff, Mo., Sept. 6, 2004

2. "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." -Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2004

1. "My answer is bring them on." -on Iraqi insurgents attacking U.S. forces, Washington, D.C., July 3, 2003

This collection of quotes was put together by a Daniel Kurtzman. A reader e-mailed this list to me but didn't supply a link. If anyone knows where this first appeared online, please drop a link into the comments section.

And thanks to Daniel, wherever you are.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006




On Saturday, December 23, at Camp David, President Bush roundtabled the 2007 plan for Iraq with the new Defence Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and presumably a handful of senior White House advisers and security officials.
The Decider-In-Chief has not made public his plans, although rumours and news on what is coming flows steadily. 30,000 more American troops into Iraq, at least 3000 already on their way to Kuwait (the first major action taken by Gates) and a harrowing, casualty-heavy final confrontation with the 50,000 strong militias of Shiite cleric, Moqtada al-Sadr is apparently being wargamed at the Pentagon.

But trouble brews on all fronts. Suicide bombers and/or insurgents may now target Kuwait, in an attempt to hit the troops before they even get into Iraq. Rounding up another 30,000 new troops is going to hit the Army Reserves and National Guard hard, and both are extremely unhappy about these new, very expensive demands on their depleted ranks and limited funds.
Finally, in what should prove to be the first massive confrontation between Bush and a Congress full of new Democrat senators, the president is going to have ask for yet more money, tens of billions more, to cover the 'troop surge'. Unless, of course, Bush and former defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld have already covered the new war-fighting costs in the most recent 'supplementary' defence budget request of almost $100 billion.
Bush was still talking about "Victory In Iraq" in his last press conference on the war, and remained steadfast on his pledge to keep American troops in Iraq "until the job is done".

But Bush won't only be facing opposition to a 'troop surge' into Iraq from Democrats. The American public hate the idea.

In mid-December, CNN ran a poll that showed barely 11 perecent of those who responded to the poll thought pouring more troops into Iraq was a good idea.
It is likely that this Bush 'troop surge' plan, and the steadily increasing daily death toll of American troops, will become the detonators of Vietnam-era sized rallies and marches in the United States the first half of 2007.

From the International Herald Tribune (excerpts) :

Immediately after the beating his party took in November, President George W. Bush indicated he had received a message that voters wanted change and he would serve some up fast: He ousted his defense secretary, announced a full-scale review of his war plan and contritely agreed with critics that progress in Iraq was not happening "well enough, fast enough."

But in the past two weeks critics and even some allies say they have seen a reversal.

He has shrugged off suggestions by the bipartisan Iraq Study Group that he enlist the help of Iran and Syria in the effort to stabilize Iraq. He has countered suggestions that he begin thinking of bringing troops home with public deliberations over whether to send more. And he has adjusted his view of the message voters sent in November away from Iraq, saying on Wednesday: "I thought the election said they want to see more bipartisan cooperation."

Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, a former U.S. Army Ranger and a member of the Armed Services Committee, said: "I don't think he's given up the sort of the sloganizing, and the simplistic view of what's happening there. I think the American people's message was deep concern about Iraq, deep skepticism about his policies, and what they want is a resolution of Iraq."

Reed supports a steady withdrawal from Iraq that is fundamentally at odds with any idea of an increase in troops there, which Bush is considering.

The idea that Bush would even consider a military plan at variance with the wishes of some of his commanders has added to an increasing sense of isolation from his own party.

"I'm growing more disturbed every night by how isolated George W. Bush has become," Joe Scarborough, a former Republican congressman, said on his MSNBC program last week.

"Shouldn't more Americans be disturbed at this unprecedented example of a White House that's in — and you can only call it this — a bunker mentality?"

The screen below him read: "Bush: Determined or Delusional?"

Delusional? That's a pretty big question to ask about the president's mental health, even from MSNBC.

I get the feeling that those opposed to a more aggressive War On Iraq - from all sides of politics and the American power elite - will be using questions regarding President Bush mental health, and whether he is still psychologically fit enough to be the commander-in-chief, to strip Bush of the power he needs to remain 'The Decider'.



When any politician, be they a local councillor or the president of the United States, starts surrounding himself with lawyers, then you know he is becoming extremely worried about what lies ahead.

2007 and 2008 have all the makings of a living nightmare for this man who has made no secret of his loathing, and resentment, towards the nitpickers on Capitol Hill. Basically any member of Congress who wants to hold him to account for his words and actions.

Some of the new Democrat congressmen and women heading to Washington DC are planning to put every single dodgy spending bill, Bush buddy and the evidence cited as the reasons for war, under intense scrutiny.

That means Bush will have to either play ball, and face a storm of criticism and outrage during his last days in office as the truth becomes known about his presidency, or he will have to block and dodge and duck and weave and obfuscate every time anyone dares to ask him a question about any of his key decisions from the past five years in office.

It's going to get ugly on Capitol Hill, as one revelation spawns another investigation into a controversial matter that could generate ten more shocking revelations. But, the Democrats will also have to consider Americans tolerance for such evisceration of a president's choices while still in office.

No doubt there will be millions of Americans, and tens of millions of people from around the world, who are hanging something wicked for live Watergate-ish hearings and fireball questioning of key officials. They are not likely to get it, however.

Just how much do even Democrat senators want to reveal about the inner workings of the Bush White House? And how much is too much for the public to take?

If the Democrats intend to deconstruct the Bush presidency in public hearings, they must realise then how easy it will be for Republicans to generate sympathy for Bush. He is, after all, president of the United States while the country is caught up in two of the most difficult wars it has ever faced, regardless of the fact that Bush initiated both battles.

Many Democrats may want to strip the flesh from the president's bones while they still have the chance, but it seems unlikely Bush will be the centre of congressional investigations, beyond the Rush To War questions that still need to be answered.

America has been weakened on the world stage, and stands extremely vulnerable today.

Democrats may want to destroy the few thin, wafting strands that remain of Bush's credibility, but they don't want to damage the United States as a whole. At least, damage it more than Bush already has.

The anticipation, therefore, of what the Democrats will do to Bush in 2007 and 2008 may prove to be more exciting, more interesting, than the reality of the events to come.

From the Baltimore Sun :
President Bush is bracing for what could be an onslaught of investigations by the new Democratic-led Congress by hiring lawyers to fill key White House posts and preparing to play defense on countless document requests and possible subpoenas.

Still, in the days after the elections, the White House announced that Bush had hired two replacements to plug holes in his counsel's office, including one lawyer, Christopher G. Oprison, who is a specialist in handling white-collar investigations. A third hire was securities law specialist Paul R. Eckert, whose duties include dealing with the Office of the Special Counsel. Bush is in the process of hiring a fourth associate counsel, said Emily A. Lawrimore, a White House spokeswoman.

"Obviously, if we do have investigations, we'll have to make sure we have enough people to be prepared to answer questions that come our way," Lawrimore said. "As of right now, I wouldn't say it's anything special."

Republicans close to Bush say any such moves would not come until the White House sees how aggressive Democrats are in trying to pry the lid off the inner workings of the administration.

Veterans of investigative battles between the White House and Congress predict that Bush ultimately will need to add staff members -- or at least borrow some from government agencies -- to contend with Democrats with subpoena power on Capitol Hill.

"Like any White House that has to deal with a Congress run by the other party, this White House has to bulk up its staff to deal with the inevitable flood of subpoenas. They're also going to have to coordinate with lots of friends and supporters," said Mark Corallo, a former top Republican aide to the House committee that issued more than 1,000 subpoenas to the Clinton camp.

Democrats are reluctant to reveal their investigative plans, but they have made it plain that they want to conduct more oversight of the Bush administration.

The president might want to launch internal investigations of his own, legal experts and analysts say, to turn up anything untoward before Democrats do. Some suggested that the administration was doing that last month when the Justice Department announced that it would look into the use of information gleaned from the National Security Agency's warrantless domestic surveillance program, an investigation that Bush thwarted earlier by refusing to grant security clearances.

"It's quite common that a White House, anticipating congressional investigations, will prefer to let previously blocked internal administrative investigations go ahead as a preferred alternative way of trying to deprive the upcoming congressional investigation of exciting things to discover..."

For Bush, 2006 Went From Bad To Worse, Then Much Worse

Senator Vows To Fight Bush If He Tries To Send More Troops To Iraq

For this Russian commentator, the defeat of Bush Co. at the November US Congressional Elections will play out on the world stage for the rest of the Bush presidency and beyond. But, the writer warns, there are dangers in assuming that the United States still holds the wealth, power and influence it once had in the international arena. Too much has changed for this "myth" to remain a common truth.

From Novosti : (excerpts)

The defeat of the Republicans (and, hence, President Bush) in the November elections to the Congress will be analyzed for a long time to come.

In 2006, the system the U.S. neo-Conservatives were trying to adapt to their personal, corporate, group, and finally, national interests, has cracked.

During the November elections to the Congress it became overheated due to the efforts of those who misreckoned its maximum capacity. Coercion of the 200 year-old mechanisms of American democracy had its effect, and the fuel which is essential for the system's operation - American voters - went elsewhere. The situation became so serious that the captain had to change without delay his most loyal members of the team, who had gone too far in their miscalculations.

Bush had to part not simply with his buddies but with the symbols of his epoch - Donald Rumsfeld and John Bolton, who, together with Dick Cheney prevailed over Condoleezza Rice - compared to them, she seemed almost a dove of peace. Rumsfeld has been replaced with Robert Gates, who is much closer in his views to Rice than Cheney. The new Defense Secretary openly says that there is no hope for a victory in Iraq.

The Jewish lobby, which determined U.S. policy in the Middle East, is leaving Bush as well. It has come to understand the impossibility of radical plans as regards Iran and Syria.

It is believed that Condoleezza Rice does not object at all to the idea of a peace conference on the Middle East without Israel.

The Democrats conduct sweet conversations with Ahmadinejad's representatives, while Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Avigdor Lieberman complains to the Russian language press in New York during his U.S. trip that America does not have enough public support for the idea of destroying Iran as the world's biggest evil.

Bush's two major projects - Iraq and Afghanistan - have fallen through.

Latin America is drifting away from Bush, too. His idols Reagan and Bush Sr., and his rival Clinton spent a lot of time, trying to conquer it. Bolivia, Venezuela, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, and Argentina are posing an obvious threat to the Monroe doctrine.

Results of congressional elections will tell on many regions in the world...


Back in 2003, President Bush told a Fox News interviewer that he didn't read newspapers, kicking off a loud round of condemnation from...well, newspapers.

Since that interview, it's become obvious that Bush does indeed read newspapers, and that he always has. Just how an egomaniac like Bush could go without seeing for himself what people are writing about him is no longer debatable.

He reads newspapers, he soaks them up, every morning, over coffee with wife Laura.

But he's more likely to read the Washington Times than the New York Times.

From the New York Times : 2003...he told Brit Hume on Fox News that he glanced at the headlines, but “I rarely read the stories,” because, he said, they mix opinion with fact. He said he preferred to get his news from “objective sources” — like “people on my staff who tell me what’s happening in the world.”

Last year...he softened his stand. “I see a lot of the news,” Mr. Bush told Mr. Williams. “I — every morning I look at the newspaper. I’m not — I can’t say I’ve read every single article in the newspaper, but I definitely know what’s in the news.”

In April, Mr. Bush reinforced the idea that he read the paper but at the same time suggested it had little influence on his thinking. In rejecting calls to fire Donald Rumsfeld, the secretary of defense, he said: “I hear the voices and I read the front page and I hear the speculation, but I’m the decider, and I decide what’s best.”

...his wife, Laura, said last week that she and her husband had read the morning papers for years.

“We’ve done the same thing since we first got married,” she told People magazine. “We wake up in the morning and drink coffee and read the newspapers.”

Thursday, December 21, 2006




Nobody in America today, it seems, likes the idea of sending more US troops into the deathstorm of Baghdad. Some of the most astounding objections are now coming from the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs of Staff, the most senior and powerful military figures in the United States.

President Bush actually now faces a situation where he, as commander in chief, could try and order 30,000 more troops be sent into Baghdad and have the military command say, "No, Mr President, we don't be doing that." They would say this to him privately first, but if continued to push, they would then make it public, already knowing from their own polls that the decision to directly disobey commands from the president would be welcomed by most Americans.

Bush was asked about exactly such a situation yesterday. He called it "a dangerous hypothetical'.

The Revolt Of The Generals surfaced in February to April this year, when a slew of former generals and colonels hammered Bush for his War On Iraq and demanded defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld be fired, without hesitation. Bush refused to listen and kept Rumsfeld in place until the Democrats won control of the Congress.

But this Revolt Of The Generals is something altogether different. They're not just opposed to Bush's choices in Iraq, but how he deals with the troops themselves, now that he is considering massive troop deployment options that would see 22 year old Americans returning for third and fourth tours of Iraq:
The Bush administration is split over the idea of a surge in troops to Iraq, with White House officials aggressively promoting the concept over the unanimous disagreement of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to U.S. officials familiar with the intense debate.

...the Joint Chiefs think the White House, after a month of talks, still does not have a defined mission and is latching on to the (US troop) surge idea in part because of limited alternatives, despite warnings about the potential disadvantages for the military...

Just in case you were wondering why the president declared "We're winning in Iraq" just a few weeks ago, while a conga line of US generals, government officials and ex-Bush Co. insiders insisted "we're not winning", Bush has decided to clear the air and explain exactly what he meant.

He gave the explanation a crack during an interview with the Washington Post yesterday :

Q: You said October 24th, "Absolutely, we're winning." And I wanted to --

A: Yes, that was an indication of my belief we're going to win

Bush had another entertaining go at how "Absolutely, we're winning" became "we're not winning, we're not losing" in the space of a few days during a press conference today :

Q Mr. President, less than two months ago at the end of one of the bloodiest months in the war, you said, "Absolutely we're winning." Yesterday you said, "We're not winning, we're not losing." Why did you drop your confident assertion about winning?

THE PRESIDENT: My comments -- the first comment was done in this spirit: I believe that we're going to win; I believe that -- and by the way, if I didn't think that, I wouldn't have our troops there. That's what you got to know. We're going to succeed. My comments yesterday reflected the fact that we're not succeeding nearly as fast as I wanted when I said it at the time..."

Complete babble. There was much about his mini-speech and answers during the press conference. What were once almost cute 'Bushisms' are now becoming troubling dementia-like fumblings for coherency. Does he not believe anything he's saying? Is he still being fed lines through an ear-piece? Is there some problem with the communications?

Here's a couple of examples of Bush simply not making any sense at all :
one thing we cannot do is give up on the hundreds of millions of ordinary moms and dads across the Middle East who want the hope and opportunity for their children that the terrorists and extremists seek to deny them, and that's a peaceful existence.
It was Bush himself who brought war and carnage to Iraq and Afghanistan, and backed Israel through its month long destruction of Southern Lebanon.
I'm speaking to the American people, of course, and I want them to know that I know how tough it is, but I also want them to know that I'm going to work with the military and the political leaders to develop a plan that will help us achieve the objective.
Is Bush admitting here that they don't actually have a plan right now, at this moment? Is Bush really fighting a war without a coherent, calculating plan in place, despite what new strategies might be introduced?

I understand that we're going to be in a long struggle against radicals and extremists, and we must make sure that our military has the capability to stay in the fight for a long period of time. I'm not predicting any particular theater, but I am predicting that it's going to take a while for the ideology of liberty to finally triumph over the ideology of hate.
So the 'War On Terror' has become the Long War, and the Long War is actually a "long struggle" against...radicals? What happened to the terrorists? If it's hard enough to come up with an internationally recognised definition of A Terrorist, it is all but impossible to agree on what makes someone A Radical.

This is important. In a war you must know as clearly as possible who the enemies are.

In summary, the 'War On Terror' has become "a long struggle" against radicals preaching an ideology of hate. That could mean some medieval-minded imam calling for violence against Western targets or it might be some anti-war protester shouting outside a Parliament for the war criminals to be brought to justice, by the people if necessary.

A lot of Americans understand the consequences of retreat. Retreat would embolden radicals. It would hurt the credibility of the United States. Retreat from Iraq would dash the hopes of millions who want to be free. Retreat from Iraq would enable the extremists and radicals to more likely be able to have safe haven from which to plot and plan further attacks.
There's those radicals again. Now they're plotting attacks. Are there no terrorists left in Iraq?

it is important for us to be successful going forward is to analyze that which went wrong. And clearly one aspect of this war that has not gone right is the sectarian violence inside Baghdad
Ahhh, what the hell did he just say?
There's issues in the south of Iraq, mainly Shia-on-Shia tensions. But primarily, the toughest fight for this new government is inside of Baghdad. Most of the deaths, most of the violence is within a 30-mile radius of Baghdad, as well as in Anbar Province. In other words, a lot of the country is moving along positively.
Almost 50% of Iraq's total population lives in the An Bar province or within 30 miles of Baghdad. The concentration of horrific violence in Baghdad, where dozens of dead people turn up on the streets every day.

And Bush remains, as always, obsessed with his place in history.
...the true history of any administration is not going to be written until long after the person is gone. It's just impossible for short-term history to accurately reflect what has taken place.

Most historians, you know, probably had a political preference, and so their view isn't exactly objective -- most short-term historians.

And it's going to take a while for people to analyze mine or any other of my predecessors until down the road when they're able to take -- watch the long march of history and determine whether or not the decisions made during the eight years I was President have affected history in a positive way.
We'll say 'No' for now, and stand to be corrected later on. In a few decades time when a way to erase the cavalcade of misery and suffering that have become hallmarks of this presidency (from 9/11 to Iraq, from Hurricane Katrina to Abu Ghraib) is in regular use.

It may take more than one memory erase to clear the images of horror and human degradation that have followed the Bush presidency like the dark cloud that formed on the day of his inauguration.

Bush Maintains That Victory In Iraq "Is Achievable"

April, 2006 : The Revolt Of The Generals

Joint Chiefs Demand Bush Produce Mission Plan In Iraq Before They Back Call For More Troops Into Baghdad

Top US Generals For Iraq & 'War On Terror' To Retire, Leave During "ReShuffle" To Give New Defence Secretary Free Rein

Bush : When I Said 'We're Winning In Iraq' I Meant "I Believe We're Winning In Iraq", Despite Morning CIA And Military Briefings Where I Get Told Just How Goddamn Horror Story That Place Has Become

Transcript Of Bush Interview With Washington Post

Bush Year End Press Conference Transcript

Go Here For New Stories From 'The Orstrahyun'

Go here For The Latest Stories From 'Your New Reality'

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Bush Remains Unfazed By Iraq War Chaos And Loss Of Control In US Congress

From the Washington Post :

In the late 19th century, the queen of England sent the president of the United States a desk made from the timbers of a decommissioned ship, the HMS Resolute. Almost every occupant of the White House since then has made the Resolute his desk. Perhaps more than most, President Bush has taken its name to heart.

But now, as Bush rethinks his strategy in Iraq and approaches one of the most fateful moments of his presidency, he confronts difficult questions: At what point does determination to a cause become self-defeating folly? Can he change direction in a meaningful way without sacrificing principle?

For Bush, this is a tension that goes to the heart of his political identity and governing style. He captured and retained the presidency in part by portraying two successive Democratic opponents as finger-in-the-wind politicians without a core set of beliefs. The notion of bending to critics or even popular will cuts against his grain. Yet it is also true that at key moments in his career, Bush has been willing to abandon his position and shift gears dramatically.

No position has been more central to Bush's leadership than his decision to invade Iraq in 2003 and his unyielding defense of his conduct of the war ever since. But he went out of his way last week to give the appearance of a man genuinely seeking new ideas as he shuffled between the White House, the State Department and the Pentagon's ultra-secure "tank," and then delayed making a decision while he and his team debated the options.

The perception of Bush as unusually stubborn has defined his tenure to some extent, much to the consternation of adversaries and sometimes even allies. But Bush was deeply influenced by the fate of his father, whose decision to break his no-new-taxes pledge as president helped doom his reelection. The lesson: Stick to decisions regardless of shifts in political winds.

The seemingly unshakeable confidence in the rightness of his positions has helped the current president weather political storms that might overwhelm others. For a man who presides over an unpopular war, just lost Congress and faces a final two years with constrained options, Bush gives little sign of self-pity. At holiday parties for friends and family in recent days, he has found himself bucking up others depressed by the turn in his political fortunes. "Don't worry, it's not as bad as it looks," he told one friend visiting the White House. "There's a lot we can get done."

The friend, who shared the private moments on the condition of anonymity, was struck by how upbeat Bush seemed. "But he's not a fool," the friend added. "He knows how bad all this is, trust me. There is some resignation that this is where he finds himself. I know he's got a lot of second thoughts about how he got there. Anybody would."

Bush decided a long time ago that expressing second thoughts publicly would be seen as a sign of weakness, according to some close to him. "I'm oftentimes asked about, 'Well, you're stubborn,' and all this," Bush told a group of conservative journalists in September. "If you believe in a strategy, in Washington, D.C., you've got to stick to that strategy, see? People want you to change. It's tactics that shift, but the strategic vision has not, and will not, shift."

Despite Bush's reputation as unbending, he has reversed himself before in the interest of expediency. During battles over education legislation or funds for religious charities, he changed key positions. Perhaps the most notable example was the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, which he strongly resisted until embracing the idea as if it were his own.

"He always starts out by stressing his maximum position and then doesn't budge until he absolutely has to," said Bruce Buchanan, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin who has watched Bush's career for years. "He could conceivably be doing that right now."

"He changes his mind all the time, as any thinking human being would," said David Frum, a former Bush speechwriter and sometime critic. "He probably changes his mind somewhat less than other politicians do, but he's not set in concrete." Having said that, Frum said Iraq is too critical to waver on. "A lot of people want him to change his mind on the central decision of his presidency. And on that, he hasn't, he shouldn't, and he won't."

Sunday, December 10, 2006


Footage a few weeks back of the Lord of the Bush Dynasty, former president George WH Bush, sobbing openly, wracked with tears, as he made a speech about his family was one of the most powerful glimpses we've ever had behind the tall high walls of Bush Co.

This was a father, a man so normally in control of his emotions that he spent more than a decade as vice-president and then president without show anything of himself except his easy-prick bluster when criticism came too close to his truth.

It doesn't take a psychiatrist to realise that while Bush Snr was talking about his other son, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, when he broke down, it was George Jnr who was on his mind, and punching his emotions.

The failed son of the president has become the failed president. The Bush Dynasty was not supposed to go this way.

Jeb Bush was supposed to be president next, for two terms. That was the ultimate dream for Bush Snr. To produce two great presidents of the United States. What could make a father prouder?

But now that long troubled son has got the whole country, and put at risk the vast wealth of America's true royalty, in terrible trouble in Iraq. That Afghanistan is slowly becoming a satelite state of the Pakistan Taliban is one nightmare too many.

George Snr sent his best men to guide Jnr back onto a track that would see, at the very least, the oil supplies of Iran and other Gulf states, secured now that Iraq was slipping beyond corporate lockdown.

But George Jnr all but directly insulted his father's men, and one woman, by talking about other possible reports during the first press conference he gave to discuss the Iraq Study Group report.

No doubt the tears are flowing easily, and regularly, for Bush Snr these days. He can't even tune into Fox News to escape harsh criticism of his son. Fox News talkers don't like what George Jnr is doing, or not doing, about illegal immigration. And they're not all out in support for the Iraq War either. They've broadened the debate to include defeat and talks with Syria and Iran. As Bush Snr would want them to.

Enough of all that. Here's an excellent story from the Washington Post that explains just how George W. Bush threw the whole Bush Family Franchise into risky chaos.

From the Washington Post :

The elder Bush has always been a softie, but this display of emotion was so over the top that it had to be about something other than (his son) Jeb’s long-ago loss.

The former president was reflecting on how well Jeb handled defeat in 1994 when he lost his composure. “He didn’t whine about it,” he said, putting a handkerchief to his face in an effort to stifle his sobbing.

That election turned out to be pivotal because it disrupted the plan Papa Bush had for his sons, which may be why he was crying, and why the country cries with him.

The family’s grand design had the No. 2 son, Jeb, by far the brighter and more responsible, ascend to the presidency while George, the partying frat-boy type, settled for second best in Texas.

The plan went awry when Jeb, contrary to conventional wisdom, lost in Florida, and George unexpectedly defeated Ann Richards in Texas. With the favored heir on the sidelines, the family calculus shifted. They’d go for the presidency with the son that won and not the one they wished had won.

The son who was wrongly launched has made such a mess of things that he has ruined the family franchise.

Without getting too Oedipal, it’s fair to say that so many mistakes George W. Bush made are the result of his need to distinguish himself from his father and show that he’s smarter and tougher.

His need to outdo his father and at the same time vindicate his father’s failure to get re-elected makes for a complicated stew of emotions.

The irony is that the senior Bush, dismissed by Junior’s crowd as a country-club patrician, looks like a giant among presidents compared to his son.

The Iraq Study Group, co-chaired by (Bush Snr close friend, James) Baker, pulls no punches in calling Bush’s policies a failure.

It’s a statement of the obvious, but when you have a collection of Washington wise men, plus retired Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’’s the equivalent of last rites for Bush’s Iraq policy, along with his presidency.

This president has lost all capacity to lead. Eleven American servicemen died in Iraq on the day Bush was presented the report...

He has little choice but to accept the fundamental direction of the Iraq Study Group. He’s up to his neck in quicksand, and they’ve thrown him a rope. It’s trendy to make fun of the over-the-hill types in Washington, but they’ve done a noble thing in reminding us that war is not just about spin and a way to win elections.

It’s about coming together to find a way out, however unpalatable.

Does the President feel humiliation, or even slight embarrassment, that he has screwed up so utterly, so totally, that his own father had to call in his friends to help get his son out of trouble?

Not from what we see of Bush on the news. He just looks tired and angry. But not sad. And certainly not humiliated.

Saturday, December 09, 2006


Promoting yourself as a close ally and friend of George W. Bush is bad news in the United States today. Doing it in England is like loudly declaring you've lost your mind. That UK prime minister Tony Blair refuses to badmouth his mate, George, has cost him untold political capital and helped to turn Iraq into the defining moment of his long rein at No. 10 Downing Street.

He is also spending a lot of time defending the US-UK alliance :
Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain defended his nation's close alliance with the United States yesterday and dismissed charges that the relationship has damaged Britain's credibility in the Middle East.

Blair responded to an influential think tank's report on British foreign policy during his term in office, which said he had been unable to prevent a drop in Britain's standing in the Middle East because of his ties with Washington and his support for the "terrible mistake" of the US-led Iraq war.

"Britain having a strong relationship with the United States of America has been a cornerstone of our policy for years and years and years and . . . if [we] give it up . . . we will pay a very heavy price in the future," Blair said during a stop in Dubai on the last leg of a Middle East tour.

Chatham House said that Blair had made a huge error by backing the US-led war in Iraq and had failed to coordinate a European response that might have tempered Washington's actions.

"The root failure [of Blair's foreign policy] has been the inability to influence the Bush administration in any significant way despite the sacrifice -- military, political, and financial -- that the United Kingdom has made," Chatham House said in its report.

Through all the travails of the 'War On Terror' and terrorists attacks in London, Washington DC and New York City, or so the public myth goes, George and Tony have remained close and confidential friends, supporting each other through difficult times.

The question should not be whether the above is true, but whether Tony Blair and George W. Bush were ever 'close friends'.

For Blair to have blown the legacy of his time as PM on a failed war and a failed friendship that might never have actually existed is close to tragic, for Blair anyway. The public doesn't like the war or Bush and they're increasingly unlikely to favour Blair.

Even those Brits who still support the Iraq War (a few million) detest Bush. It's not the personality, it's the methodology, his way of doing business.

People will tolerate leaders who duck and weave and dodge and decieve. For a while. But once the public's been burned a few times, there's no coming back. As President Bush learns now he is on the verge of becoming the most unpopular president in US history.

Likewise Tony Blair has lost, literally, tens of millions of public supporters over the Iraq War.

Few leaders of the United Kingdom have fallen so far in the minds of the public.

From the UK Independent :

Differences have emerged between Tony Blair and George Bush on strategy in the Middle East, even as the two leaders agreed that a major change of course was necessary in Iraq in the wake of the devastating critique delivered this week by a high-level bipartisan panel in Washington.

In general Mr Blair sounded distinctly more enthusiastic about the report, welcoming the "strong way forward" it set out.

But the President stressed repeatedly that while it was "important," the ISG document was just one among several studies being prepared here, by the State Department, the Pentagon and the National Security Council.

Yesterday's meeting was a sombre occasion, the first at which the two architects of the war had to confront, head on and in public together, the recent slide towards anarchy in Iraq.

A tired-looking Mr Bush acknowledged that the situation was "bad" and "very tough," and that the task ahead was "daunting." But, he warned, the stakes could not be higher.

A terrorist-dominated Middle East, he said, represented "an unprecedented threat to civilisation". As unwilling as ever to admit error, he described America's involvement in Iraq as "a noble mission". Unlike the Prime Minister, he spoke explicitly of "victory," insisting that it was "important for the entire world" that the US and Britain prevailed.

And here's a short history of Tony & George :

February 2001

Tony Blair and George Bush hold their first face-to-face talks at Camp David. Blair is determined to preserve Britain's much-vaunted special relationship.

Summit score: Bush 1, Blair 1.

What happened next: Cordial relations cemented.

September 2001

Mr Blair is first out of the traps, flying to Washington to stand 'shoulder to shoulder' with Bush after the 9/11 attacks. In public, Blair's response looks more assured. In private, he urges Bush not to be hasty.

Summit score: Bush 0, Blair 1.

What happened next: The war in Afghanistan.

April 2002

At a crucial summit in Texas, Blair gives Bush a private pledge that Britain will back his moves to oust Saddam Hussein. They say nothing in public.

Summit score: Bush 4, Blair 0.

What happened next: The long march to war 11 months later begins.

July 2003

After an apparently successful war, the PM is greeted as a hero when he addresses the US Congress. He urges the US to avoid isolationism.

Summit score: Bush 1, Blair 2.

What happened next: En route from Washington to Tokyo he is told that the government scientist David Kelly had disappeared.

November 2004

In the US, Blair wins a public pledge that Bush will expend his 'capital' on breaking the deadlock in the Israel-Palestinian peace process. Bush says a Palestinian state could be created within four years.

Summit score: Bush 0, Blair 1.

What happened next: Not much, to Mr Blair's frustration (again).

May 2006

The leaders acknowledge that the problems in Iraq have lasted much longer than they anticipated but vow to stay the course.

Summit score: Bush O, Blair 0.

What happened next: The insurgency continues.

Monday, December 04, 2006



The release of the report by the near mythical Iraq Study Group is approaching the mega-hype, expectation and wide-eyed anticipation that usually surrounds the release of a fresh masterpiece by one of the world's great writers. Don't get your hopes up. It's unlikely to be a gripping read.

There's been plenty of leaks of what's supposed to be in the report. No shortage of ground-softening for Americans expecting it to supply the magic fix that even President Bush now no longer believes exists.

What will the Iraq Study Group report say? Will it provide meaning and truth?

Will it tell us what we want to hear? Or what we already know?

Will it open our eyes? Or will it blow our minds with a perspective and solution to the 'War On Iraq' that mere mortal brains had never chewed over, or dared to contemplate?

It's almost like a new Harry Potter For War Obsessives is about to hit the shelves.

But that analogy is beyond cruel.

There are, literally, hundreds of thousands of American mums and dads who already know that if the 'War On Iraq' doesn't end soon, their 'weekend warrior' sons and daughters in the National Guard and the Army Reserves will be hitting the blood-and-bomb-soaked highways of Iraq before they see their 21st birthdays.

Hundreds of thousands more American parents will soak up the details of the report to find out when or if their sons and daughters in the US military migth have to return for a second, third or fourth tour of duty.

But the biggest question today in the United States is not : What's In The Report?

The question is this : 'Will Bush Learn From It? Will He Change Course? Will He Listen To The Advice On Offer?

Remarkably, the general consensus in much of the American media is already clear : Fuck No.

This story from Newsweek details, comprehensively, just what is going to be in the Iraq Study Group report and reveals that it has about a Zero Chance of changing Bush's Iraq War plans :

The Iraq Study Group, also known as the Baker Commission after its co-chairman, former secretary of State James A. Baker, has been widely seen as a gambit by Republican moderates close to Bush's father, the 41st president, to rescue the 43rd president from his disastrous plunge into Iraq.

Of all the things Bush dislikes, the idea of needing to be rescued by Daddy may well top the list.

....the Iraq Study Group report, scheduled to be released this week, will set no time-tables or call for any troop reductions, according to a source familiar with the report, who, like everyone involved, requested anonymity owing to the sensitivity of the subject.

It will speak more generally of shifting U.S. troops from an active combat role to advising Iraqi forces, and suggest that the president could, not should, begin to withdraw forces in the vaguely defined future. The report will also urge more diplomatic initiatives to secure Iraq and the region.

Persuading Bush to listen—and to change course, even at the margins—will be very difficult.

One of the myths that the Bush camp has tried to perpetuate over the years is that the president follows the model, learned as a student at Harvard Business School, of a chief executive who delegates, listens to advice and only then decides. Bush is the "decider," as he calls himself, but there is little evidence that he listens to advice that he doesn't want to hear.

It may be that the last really serious call for a midcourse correction heeded by George W. Bush was the hangover he experienced at Colorado's Broadmoor Hotel one morning in the summer of 1986, when he decided to quit drinking—a decision that put him on the path to the presidency. That was indeed a momentous example of evaluating options and choosing to change, but it happened two decades ago.

People who know Bush well say, as one presidential friend put it to NEWSWEEK, that he "realizes that the disappointments on the ground in Iraq—not just the election—require new thinking." (The source spoke anonymously for fear of alienating Bush.)

The tone of Bush's senior aides, who were interviewed this week by news-week, was dismissive, even condescending, toward Baker and the Iraq Study Group.

The word from the White House was not entirely Stay the Course, but pretty close.

The Iraq Study Group is just one of three ongoing reviews of Iraq policy, say the Bush aides, and not the most important one at that. Bush is also hearing from his Joint Chiefs of Staff as well as a team under Hadley. Bush may trim and fiddle here and there, say his advisers, but he is determined to send a signal of unwavering determination—that he is in charge, and he will not abandon Iraq.

Bush's reluctance to change course—Bill Kristol, The Weekly Standard editor, calls Bush "the last neocon in power"—may come as a disappointment to voters who thought they were sending the president a message last Election Day.

Bush seems determined to play the role of a 21st-century Winston Churchill, steadfast in the West's darkest hour, when many Americans see Bush as the captain on the bridge of the Titanic.

But in fact the dire situation in Iraq—and the reality that there are no magical fixes—may push the president into listening to Baker and other advisers, if only for a moment, and then maybe with only half an ear. At least that is what Baker, according to those who know him, is hoping and maneuvering for—a chance to get his foot in the door of the Oval Office, to make one last pass at getting Bush to make an attempt at true diplomacy in the Middle East.

Bush may have dismissed talk of a "graceful exit," but Baker, who knows something about getting out of tight spots, is looking for just that. Baker realizes, however, that getting any kind of successful outcome will take a great deal of diplomacy on many fronts, starting with his long but somewhat cool relationship with the president of the United States.

According to friends familiar with his thinking, Baker realizes that his panel's report could wind up just sitting on a shelf somewhere. But he wants a shot at sitting down with the president—at getting Bush to ponder new approaches to keeping Iraq, and possibly the entire Middle East, from disintegrating even further.

The odds for "victory" in Iraq, whatever that means, are long. The star-crossed country first conceived on the back of a British imperialist's envelope 80 years ago seems fated to consume itself in sectarian blood-letting. But the debate roiling in Washington is not just for show. It represents a basic clash of approaches to getting out of the worst American mess since Vietnam. No one wants to say it, but the real question is whether the United States can manage to be defeated in Iraq in a way that does not lead to worse disasters in the region—or another terrorist attack at home.

The Iraq Study Group report has been written with the sort of high-minded generalities needed to achieve consensus among strong-minded Republicans and Democrats. It will not demand an international peace conference on the future of the Middle East or insist that the Unites States pressure Israel to restart the vexed peace process with the Palestinians.

Baker starts from the premise that none of Iraq's neighbors, including Iran and Syria, want Iraq to dissolve into the kind of bloody chaos that can spread through the region, pitting Sunnis against Shiites and faction against faction.

He has also been a longtime believer that the best way for the United States to establish credibility in the Arab world—and in Europe, for that matter—is to get serious about the creation of a viable Palestinian state.

As Bush 41's secretary of State, Baker was willing to lean on the Israelis to try to make peace with the Palestinians by forgoing the establishment of settlements on the West Bank. Under pressure from Israel's friends in Congress, Bush 41's team backed off. But Baker's own desire to use the Israeli-Palestinian peace process as a key to defusing the wider animosities in the region is well known.

It is not out of the question that Bush 43 will be brought around by the so-called Realists.

Fantasies of a liberal democracy in Iraq are long gone.

The most Bush can reasonably hope for in Iraq is some measure of stability, which is what the Realists want, too.

Bush's situation—and petulant tone—are not unlike Lyndon Johnson's in 1968, when the Vietnam War was getting no better, despite troop levels' reaching a half-million men and a heavy bombing campaign. Johnson's new secretary of Defense, Clark Clifford, was a clever fixer/statesman, just like Baker. Johnson ranted to his advisers, "Let's get one thing clear! I'm telling you now that I'm not going to stop the bombing!" (Bush last week: "There's one thing I'm not going to do: I'm not going to pull the troops off the battlefield before the mission is complete.")

Go Here To Read The Full Story

The 'War On Iraq' is not going to end any time soon. Bush knows it, and he's not prepared to entertain any fantasies that the troops will be coming home. Not this year. Not next year. And not at all likely before he ends his presidency.

He leave it to President Hilary Clinton to order the ungraceful exit from Iraq, and all the nightmares and fury and dismay that is likely to follow.

After all, it's not like President Bush started this war. So why should it be up to him to end it?

It's far easier to do what he has done best, for most of his life : Blame Somebody Else for his spectacular failures, and let them cope with the appalling fallout that results.

Another two articles questioning whether or not President Bush is defiantly standing his ground in the belief that Iraq will soon transform into the democratic example for the Middle East that has come to totally dominate his presidency, or if the president has, in fact, drifted into the arena of the mentally unwell.

There are politics, there are face-saving exercises, there are even misinformation campaigns to buy time and deter the inevitable whilst still praying frantically for a miracle, or divine intervention. But then there is also the abyss of a reality denial so strong, so complete, it virtually defies comprehension.

At least, it defies comprehension by those who still have at least a three finger grasp on sanity.

It is interesting to note just how close these two opinion pieces are in theme and detail, and conclusions reached, though they are published on websites that appear to be worlds apart, as far as the mainstream media is concerned.

The first, by Paul Craig Roberts, was written for a 'alternate' news website that three years ago would have tarnished with the "conspiracy" brush by those seeking to discredit it, despite the fact that 'Information Clearing House' sources virtually all its stories from the mainstream media of the US, Australia, the UK and Israel.

The second story is by New York Times columnist, Frank Rich, one of the most widely read opinionists in the world today. And yet, their thoughts are virtually polarised. This is how clear the reality is that the 'War On Iraq' has failed, that it can only get worse and that President Bush is stonewalling even the most basic facts about Iraq's true reality.

The behaviour of the President of the United States of America has become so bizarre, his reality denial so total, that the thoughts of a writer who was (in 2003) declared a traitor to America by the most popular conservative bloggers in the US are virtually the same as those of one of the most mainstream opinionists writing today.

We're all extremists now.

From Paul Craig Roberts :


Tens of millions of Americans want President George W. Bush to be impeached for the lies and deceit he used to launch an illegal war and for violating his oath of office to uphold the US Constitution.

Millions of other Americans want Bush turned over to the war crimes tribunal at the Hague.

The true fate that awaits Bush is psychiatric incarceration.

The president of the United States is so deep into denial that he is no longer among the sane.

Delusion still rules Bush three weeks after the American people repudiated him and his catastrophic war in elections that delivered both House and Senate to the Democrats in the hope that control over Congress would give the opposition party the strength to oppose the mad occupant of the White House.

On November 28 Bush insisted that US troops would not be withdrawn from Iraq until he had completed his mission of building a stable Iraqi democracy capable of spreading democratic change in the Middle East.

Bush made this astonishing statement the day after NBC News, a major television network, declared Iraq to be in the midst of a civil war, a judgment with which former Secretary of State Colin Powell concurs.

Bush’s astonishing determination to deny Iraq reality was made the same day that the US-installed Iraqi prime minister al-Maliki and US puppet King Abdullah II of Jordan abruptly cancelled a meeting with Bush after Bush was already in route to Jordon on Air Force One.

Bush could not meet with Maliki in Iraq, because violence in Baghdad is out of control. For security reasons, the US Secret Service would not allow President Bush to go to Iraq, where he is “building a stable democracy.”

Bush’s denial of Iraqi reality was made even as one of the most influential Iraqi Shiite leaders, Moqtada al-Sadr, is building an anti-US parliamentary alliance to demand the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq.

Bush has destroyed the entire social, political, and economic fabric of Iraq. Saddam Hussein sat on the lid of Pandora’s Box of sectarian antagonisms, but Bush has opened the lid. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians have been killed as “collateral damage” in Bush’s war to bring “stable democracy” to Iraq. Tens of thousands of Iraqi children have been orphaned and maimed. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have fled their country. The Middle East is aflame with hatred of America, and the ground is shaking under the feet of American puppet governments in the Middle East. US casualties (killed and wounded) number 25,000.

And Bush has not had enough!

What better proof of Bush’s insanity could there be?

From Frank Rich, New York Times :

As Mr. Bush has ricocheted from Vietnam to Latvia to Jordan in recent weeks, we’ve witnessed the troubling behavior of a president who isn’t merely in a state of denial but is completely untethered from reality. It’s not that he can’t handle the truth about Iraq. He doesn’t know what the truth is.

The most startling example was his insistence that Al Qaeda is primarily responsible for the country’s spiraling violence. Only a week before Mr. Bush said this, the American military spokesman on the scene, Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, called Al Qaeda “extremely disorganized” in Iraq, adding that “I would question at this point how effective they are at all at the state level.”

Military intelligence estimates that Al Qaeda makes up only 2 percent to 3 percent of the enemy forces in Iraq...

The bottom line: America has a commander in chief who can’t even identify some 97 percent to 98 percent of the combatants in a war that has gone on longer than our involvement in World War II.

But that’s not the half of it. Mr. Bush relentlessly refers to Iraq’s “unity government” though it is not unified and can only nominally govern. (In Henry Kissinger’s accurate recent formulation, Iraq is not even a nation “in the historic sense.”)

After that pseudo-government’s prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, brushed him off in Amman, the president nonetheless declared him “the right guy for Iraq” the morning after.

In truth the president is so out of it he wasn’t even meeting with the right guy.

No one doubts that the most powerful political leader in Iraq is the anti-American, pro-Hezbollah cleric Moktada al-Sadr, without whom Mr. Maliki would be on the scrap heap next to his short-lived predecessors, Ayad Allawi and Ibrahim al-Jaafari. Mr. Sadr’s militia is far more powerful than the official Iraqi army that we’ve been helping to “stand up” at hideous cost all these years.

I have not been one to buy into the arguments that Mr. Bush is stupid or is the sum of his “Bushisms” or is, as feverish Internet speculation periodically has it, secretly drinking again. I still don’t. But I have believed he is a cynic — that he could always distinguish between truth and fiction even as he and Karl Rove sold us their fictions.

Neither he nor his party has anything to gain politically by pretending that Iraq is not in crisis. Yet Mr. Bush clings to his delusions with a near-rage — watch him seethe in his press conference with Mr. Maliki — that can’t be explained away by sheer stubbornness or misguided principles or a pat psychological theory.

The illusion that America can control events on the ground is just that: an illusion. As the list of theoretical silver bullets for Iraq grows longer (and more theoretical) by the day — special envoy, embedded military advisers, partition, outreach to Iran and Syria, Holbrooke, international conference, NATO — urgent decisions have to be made by a chief executive who is in touch with reality...

That President Bush is now grappling with reality, the reality on the ground in Iraq, is a recurring theme of many columnists in the UK and the USA this week.

Of course, columnists in the Middle East, Indonesia and Russia have been arguing virtually non-stop since late 2003 that Bush not only had no concept of what was actually happening in Iraq - a civil war that began even before Saddam Hussein was captured - but that he was so far removed from any notion of Iraq's reality by his circle of advisors, insiders and his sheer, utter arrogance, that he was unable to grasp that his dream of Iraq as a flagship of Middle East democracy was a fantasy on par with hosting the Galactica Olympic Games on Mars in 2020.

Below Andrew Sullivan, an early backer of the 'War On Iraq', completes his transition to ultimate sceptic by raising valid questions not only about the president's grasp on reality when it comes to the 'War On Iraq', but his very sanity.

From TimesOnline :

One of the grimly fascinating aspects of observing the Bush administration these past few years has been the question of when the president will actually face reality.

...we found out last week that the president is still resistant to any notion that he might have failed so badly that his country and the world require him to change course.

His press conference last Thursday with Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, was an alarming glimpse of a president in almost clinical denial.

“I know there’s a lot of speculation that these reports in Washington mean there’s going to be some kind of graceful exit out of Iraq,” Bush said. But he insisted: “We’re going to stay in Iraq to get the job done so long as the government wants us there.”

On the same day Maliki told ABC News that he expected Iraq to assume complete responsibility for its own internal security by June of next year.

If in June Maliki asks the US to leave, what will Bush do? What if Maliki, pressured by his only source of real power, Moqtada al-Sadr, the radical Shi’ite cleric and leader of the Mahdi army, actually accelerates this request and asks the Americans to leave before then? Does Bush have a plan? One would expect any responsible president of the United States to have such a plan.

But Bush is not a responsible president of the United States. He is a reckless gambler of other people’s money and other people’s lives.

The hope is that his declarations of no change of course are as credible as his insistence only a month ago that Rumsfeld would remain defence secretary until January 2009.

Maybe it’s a last-ditch poker face in an intractable situation. Or maybe — gulp — he really does believe that Iraq is still fixable, that Maliki will soon emerge as a unifying national leader, that American troops will manage to calm a civil war, that trained Iraqi troops will fight for a united democratic government rather than for sect or tribe or vengeance.

I hope it’s the former, with sanity soon to re-emerge. But I fear it may be the latter: and that his brinkmanship is something he has tragically mistaken for strength.

It's a stylised Washington, DC, ritual closer to the 'we-are-not-worthy' bows and curtsies extended to British royalty by the common folk than it should be for a country that won its independence from the English monarchy more than 230 years ago.

The president invites the new senators who will be filling the seats of Congress for the next two years to the White House for a meet-and-greet. The mid-term elections are over, and bad feelings are expected to be put aside for the day. After all, the office of the president is the highest in the land and respect is not only demanded, it is compulsory.

Senators are expected to take part in a 'receiving line' where they are then greeted by the president, and then photo sessions allow the new senators to stand with their president for a happy, or not so happy, snap. You might be a Democratic senator disgusted by the arrogant and misinformed choices made by your Republican president, but you still stand in line and you still get your photo taken. It's just the way things are done in the White House, they way they have been for over a century.

But the meet-and-greet this year did not go as planned. The fiery new senator for Virginia, Democrat Jim Webb, blasted President Bush, and his appalling 'War On Iraq' all the way through his election campaign. He won a surprising victory and not every voter, then, would have expected him to keep true to his word, on everything he promised to do, including getting American troops out of Iraq as soon as possible and refusing to pay President Bush respect Webb had loudly proclaimed the president did not deserve. At least, not from him.

But Webb did not back down, he did not betray his mission, once he found himself at the recieving party at the White House two weeks back.

Webb refused to stand in line before the president, and he also refused to be photographed with or near him. This is not the done thing. And it caused the first scandal of the new Congress.

Jim Webb is a decorated and (within the US military) a highly respected former Marine officer.

His son is now serving in Iraq and Webb wore a pair of his combat boots throughout the election campaign. Webb's son narrowly avoided death recently, when an IED exploded and killed three of his fellow Marines. Jim Webb, then, was not a happy man when he tromped up to The Hill two weeks ago for the welcome party by the president.

President Bush is not used to hearing dissent within his ranks. Bob Woodward's notorious book 'State Of Denial' detailed literally dozens of meetings with senior military figures, intelligence experts, the head of the CIA and a host of advisors who went out of their way to tell Bush only the good news about Iraq.

Bush sees himself as 'The Chosen One'; a true believer cast into the role of the leader of the world's most powerful nation by God himself. He demands and expects respect, from enemies and supplicants alike, and Bush usually gets what he wants. He doesn't like criticism, and reacts angrily to news he is either not expecting, or simply doesn't want to hear.

So when Jim Webb and President Bush came face to face at the welcoming party in the White House, many of those gathered expected fireworks. And that's exactly what they got.

According to two accounts, here and here, President Bush sought out Jim Webb and aggressively attempted to engage him in a conversation about his son, still serving in Iraq.

"How's your boy?" Bush asked, referring to Webb's son, a Marine serving in Iraq.

"I'd like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President," Webb responded, echoing a campaign theme.

"That's not what I asked you," Bush said. "How's your boy?"

"That's between me and my boy, Mr. President," Webb said...

The conversation was over.

Webb would later confess that the confrontation, and the aggressive questioning by the president, had left him so angry he had been tempted to punch Bush in the face.

From :

“Jim did have a conversation with Bush at that dinner,” said Webb’s spokeswoman Kristian Denny Todd. “Basically, he asked about Jim’s son, Jim expressed the fact that he wanted to have him home.”

Todd did not want to escalate matters by commenting on Bush’s response, saying, “It was a private conversation.”

From the Washington Post :

If the exchange with Bush two weeks ago is any indication, Webb won't be a wallflower, especially when it comes to the war in Iraq. And he won't stick to a script drafted by top Democrats.

"I'm not particularly interested in having a picture of me and George W. Bush on my wall," Webb said in an interview yesterday in which he confirmed the exchange between him and Bush.

In the days after the election, Webb's Democratic colleagues on Capitol Hill went out of their way to make nice with Bush and be seen by his side. House Republican Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) sat down for a lunch and photo opportunity with Bush, as did Democratic leaders in the Senate.

Not Webb, who said he tried to avoid a confrontation with Bush at the White House reception but did not shy away from one when the president approached.

Webb said he has "strong ideas," but he also insisted that -- as a former Marine in Vietnam -- he knows how to work in a place such as the Senate, where being part of a team is important.

One senior Democratic staff member on Capitol Hill, who spoke on condition that he not be identified so he could speak freely about the new senator, said that Webb's lack of political polish was part of his charm as a candidate but could be a problem as a senator.

"I think he's going to be a total pain. He is going to do things his own way. That's a good thing and a bad thing," the staff member said. But he said that Webb's personality may be just what the Senate needs. "You need a little of everything. Some element of that personality is helpful."

Few on Capitol Hill expect this to be the last time the president and Jim Webb clash, in private, or public.

Saturday, December 02, 2006


Not exactly a fresh or unexpected perspective of President Bush's ongoing State Of Denial about the 'War On Iraq' fiasco, but the longest serving veteran journalist of the Middle East, Robert Fisk, nails some key points with a hammer in each hand.

From the UK Independent :


More than half a million deaths, an army trapped in the largest military debacle since Vietnam, a Middle East policy already buried in the sands of Mesopotamia - and still George W Bush is in denial.

How does he do it?

How does he persuade himself - as he apparently did in Amman yesterday - that the United States will stay in Iraq "until the job is complete"?

The "job" - Washington's project to reshape the Middle East in its own and Israel's image - is long dead, its very neoconservative originators disavowing their hopeless political aims and blaming Bush, along with the Iraqis of course, for their disaster.

...was it not Saddam Hussein who promised the "mother of all battles" for Kuwait before the great Iraqi retreat in 1991?

And was it not Saddam again who predicted a US defeat in the sands of Iraq in 2003?

Saddam's loyal acolyte, Mohamed el-Sahaf, would fantasise about the number of American soldiers who would die in the desert; George W Bush let it be known that he sometimes slipped out of White House staff meetings to watch Sahaf's preposterous performance and laugh at the fantasies of Iraq's minister of information.

So who is laughing at Bush now?

The fracture of Iraq is virtually complete, its chasms sucking in corpses at the rate of up to a thousand a day.

Even Hitler must chuckle at this bloodbath, he who claimed in April 1945 that Germany would still win the Second World War, boasting that his enemy, Roosevelt, had died - much as Bush boasted of Zarqawi's killing - while demanding to know when General Wenck's mythical army would rescue the people of Berlin.

How many "Wencks" are going to be summoned from the 82nd Airborne or the Marine Corps to save Bush from Iraq in the coming weeks?

No, Bush is not Hitler.

Like Blair, he once thought he was Winston Churchill, a man who never - ever - lied to his people about Britain's defeats in war. But fantasy knows no bounds.