Friday :: Sep 24, 2004

Playing RISK[tm] By the Bu$h Rules

by pessimist

There is little doubt in my mind that, like many a would-be world conqueror, George Wastrel Bu$h sees himself in the company of men like Julius Caesar, Genghis Khan, Napoleon Bonaparte, maybe even vile Hitler. But given his intense Oedipal competition with Poppy, he surely has to do all of these warriors one better - he has to succeed where they failed.

Just surfing about looking into sources for other posts, I ran across these three articles which look at George Wastrel Bu$h and the huge mess that he's caused with his playing general at war - and why he needs to be sent back home to play soldier on his own time.

Character and Courage

Bush is fond of deflecting criticism of his guard duty by implying that critics are insulting current National Guard members and reservists now serving in Iraq, but a comparison between his cushy not-really-a-pilot post and those brave soldiers on the front lines in Iraq is revoltingly disingenuous.

Ironically, the stay-at-home haven for Bush in the 60's, the 147th Fighter Interceptor "Champagne Unit," escorted Air Force One on September 11, 2001 and was deployed to overseas duty on September 20, 2001.

I just received an e-mail from "Homland Security" [sic] urging me to "help protect our country" by getting my security-related degree on line, right quick, from a domain called "" The email goes on to say that the U.S. Department of Labor projects a nearly thirty percent increase in security-related jobs.

I have a better idea: let's eliminate a major source of our national and global insecurity by sending George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Karl Rove, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Donald Rumsfeld, Andrew Card, Lewis Libby, John Ashcroft and Steven Cambone packing. Why did I mention all of the other characters and not just single out Bush for his fabled bus ticket back to Crawford?

Because like President Bush, not one of these people controlling our military and national security served in Vietnam or saw military action in any conflict. Bush, Cheney, Rove, Wolfowitz, Perle, Card, Libby, Ashcroft, and Cambone all avoided service in Vietnam, primarily through school deferments. So did brother Jeb, the infamous Governor of that "deliverable" called Florida.

Which means that all of these folks gleefully pursuing the pseudo-"war against terror" in Iraq and squandering the resources we need for the very real anti-terror war we need to fight globally have no actual, practical combat experience.

Experience counts when one goes to war

Bush in Wonderland

During one of the recent political detours into the Vietnam War era, columnist Michael Kinsley argued that there are three groups: people who think the war was evil, those who think it was well-intentioned but a tragic mistake, and those who think the war could have been a good thing if the country had been fully behind it. Virtually no one, he wrote, views the war positively as it actually played out.

President Bush's conduct of the war in Iraq invites a similar bottom-line dismissal. Yet, there was the President Tuesday defiantly telling stone-faced diplomats at the United Nations that the war has been a success and that Iraq is on its way to democracy.

But it's hard to imagine the international community came away with any impression other than that the President does not grasp the truth: Daily car bombings, beheadings of foreign hostages, insurgents' control of key cities and rising public outrage are hardly markers on a road to a peaceful and prosperous democracy. They must also wonder and Americans should, too how a President in such deep denial can fix the Iraqi mess. And how anyone can be sure he won't plunge into a similar disaster elsewhere.

Experienced Counts - The Costs Of War

The Unfeeling President [Excerpted]
By E.L. Doctorow

On the eve of D-Day in 1944 General Eisenhower prayed to God for the lives of the young soldiers he knew were going to die. He knew what death was. Even in a justifiable war, a war not of choice but of necessity, a war of survival, the cost was almost more than Eisenhower could bear.

But this president does not know what death is. He hasn't the mind for it. He does not mourn. He doesn't understand why he should mourn. He does not feel a personal responsibility for the 1,000 dead young men and women who wanted to be what they could be.

To mourn is to express regret and he regrets nothing. He does not regret that his reason for going to war was, as he knew, unsubstantiated by the facts. He does not regret that his bungled plan for the war's aftermath has made of his mission-accomplished a disaster. He does not regret that, rather than controlling terrorism, his war in Iraq has licensed it. He wanted to go to war and he did.

He had not the mind to perceive the costs of war, or to listen to those who knew those costs. He did not understand that you do not go to war when it is one of the options but when it is the only option; you go not because you want to but because you have to.

Yet this president knew it would be difficult for Americans not to cheer the overthrow of a foreign dictator. He knew that much. This president and his supporters would seem to have a mind for only one thing -- to take power, to remain in power, and to use that power for the sake of themselves and their friends. A war will do that as well as anything. You become a wartime leader. The country gets behind you. Dissent becomes inappropriate.

But there is one more terribly sad thing about all of this. I remember the millions of people here and around the world who marched against the war. It was extraordinary, that spontaneous aroused oversoul of alarm and protest that transcended national borders. Why did it happen? After all, this was not the only war anyone had ever seen coming. There are little wars all over he world most of the time.

But the cry of protest was the appalled understanding of millions of people that America was ceding its role as the last best hope of mankind. It was their perception that the classic archetype of democracy was morphing into a rogue nation. The greatest democratic republic in history was turning its back on the future, using its extraordinary power and standing not to advance the ideal of a concordance of civilizations but to endorse the kind of tribal combat that originated with the Neanderthals, a people, now extinct, who could imagine ensuring their survival by no other means than pre-emptive war.

How can we sustain ourselves as the United States of America given the stupid and ineffective warmaking, the constitutionally insensitive lawgiving, and the monarchal economics of this president?

How indeed?

# Need more reasons to send Bush home? Here are 100 more.
# View the Bush military records - more here
# View the Kerry military records
# Military service of various pols and pundits

[Links from Character and Courage]

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pessimist :: 4:31 AM :: Comments (5) :: Digg It!