Friday, November 11, 2005
Bush's speech today - some observations:
- "Through the generations, [veterans] have humbled dictators and liberated continents and set a standard of courage and idealism for the entire world. This year, 3.5 million veterans celebrate the 60th anniversary of freedom's great victory in World War II."
Nothing to get too excited about, and not to dismiss the serious issues at play in WII, but history books don't label that war as a fight for "freedom". It was a straightforward states vs. states conflict. Remember, Stalin's Soviet Union was on the side of the good guys, and victory did not result in freedom for millions of people - quite the opposite, in fact.
- "On this Veterans Day ... we remember the men and women in uniform whose fate is still undetermined -- our prisoners of war and those missing in action."
There are prisoners of war? Where are they being held? News to us.
- "I've joined with the veterans groups to call on Congress to protect the flag of the United States in the Constitution of the United States. In June, the House of Representatives voted for a constitutional amendment to ban flag desecration. I urge the United States Senate to pass this important amendment."
Going to the flag burning amendment at this particular time looks like a desperate move to pull out all the stops in order to gin up patriotic fervor.
- "At this hour, a new generation of Americans is defending our flag and our freedom in the first war of the 21st century."
Oh, that's why we are in Iraq, to "defend our flag". Talk about totemism.
- "... extremists distort the idea of jihad into a call for terrorist murder against Christians and Hindus and Jews -- and against Muslims, themselves, who do not share their radical vision."
What's this? Is Bush saying that jihad is okay in general, but that we're battling a mutant form? Odd that he'd frame it that way.
- "... these extremists want to end American and Western influence in the broader Middle East, because we stand for democracy and peace, and stand in the way of their ambitions."
Clash of Civilizations it is. This it totally in line with neocon thinking.
- "... the militant network wants to use the vacuum created by an American retreat to gain control of a country -- a base from which to launch attacks and conduct their war against non-radical Muslim governments."
Okay then. Bush is effectively saying that the U.S. cannot leave. Let's see how the public reacts to that.
- "... these militants believe that controlling one country will rally the Muslim masses, enabling them to overthrow all moderate governments in the region, and establish a radical Islamic empire that spans from Spain to Indonesia."
Wow, these guys have got to be stopped. Otherwise an empire will rise that spans over half the globe. Aieee!
- "Some might be tempted to dismiss these goals as fanatical or extreme. They are fanatical and extreme -- but they should not be dismissed."
Message: Be scared.
- "The influence of Islamic radicalism is also magnified by helpers and enablers. They've been sheltered by authoritarian regimes -- allies of convenience like Iran and Syria ..."
Are we going to see strikes against either of those countries in the next six months? Do we really want to expand the conflict? By Bush's reasoning, it almost has to take place.
- "Some have also argued that extremism has been strengthened by the actions in Iraq -- claiming that our presence in that country has somehow caused or triggered the rage of radicals. I would remind them that we were not in Iraq on September the 11th, 2001."
That's Bush Logic for you. Claim that action X has strengthened activity Y is rebutted by the fact the Y already existed.
- "... in many ways, this fight resembles the struggle against communism in the last century." Sounds like Condoleezza Rice's (and other old-guard) thinking here. Setting aside the terrorists, the overwhelming amount of hostile action we're seeing (in Iraq) is anti-occupation. Bush is trying, here and in quotes above, to frame this as a global struggle. It's not convincing.
- "These militants are not just the enemies of America or the enemies of Iraq, they are the enemies of Islam and they are the enemies of humanity."
If that's so, where is "Islam" on this? What major Islamic figure or state is gearing up to join the U.S. in the fight?
- "We didn't ask for this global struggle, but we're answering history's call ..."
It may not be Millenarianism, but it's pretty close.
- "Our coalition against terror has killed or captured nearly all those directly responsible for the September the 11th attacks."
Where the fuck is Bin Laden???
- " When I made the decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power, Congress approved it with strong bipartisan support." "... it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began." "Some Democrats and anti-war critics are now claiming we manipulated the intelligence and misled the American people about why we went to war." "... more than a hundred Democrats in the House and the Senate -- who had access to the same intelligence -- voted to support removing Saddam Hussein from power."... the national interest is too important, for politicians to throw out false charges." "These baseless attacks send the wrong signal to our troops ..." "[The troops] deserve to know that their elected leaders who voted to send them to war continue to stand behind them ..." "Our troops deserve to know that this support will remain firm when the going gets tough."
Shorter Bush: "You Democrats voted to allow me to go to war and are not allowed to change your position, or you will be letting down the troops." This was probably the most offensive part of the speech.
It was a very read-meat speech. Pugnacious. Let's see how it wears with the American people. And the Democrats in Congress.
So, moron, where is bin Laden?
There's more rewritten history in that speech than the Democrats have done in a very long time!
Re our prisoners of war - Pfc. Keith M. Maupin is listed as captured, as of April 16 2004.
And there is Michael "Scott" Speicher, shot down during the first gulf war, who was brought back to the news in early 2003 by the administration, only to be forgotten again by the same administration once the war started and he was no longer of propaganda value.
The frame should be simple:
Democrats: strong home security, strong alliances, sensible extraction from the quagmire.
Republicans: 50 more years of war, necessitating a draft soon.
George W demonstrates with this speech his skills as a cheerleader (which he majored in at Yale, minoring in history). A skillful cheerleader, when his team is well behind, doesn't take his megaphone and go home. No, he has to try to rally the team and their fans, despite the realistice situation on the ground. Fortunately, at some point, the whistle blows ending the game. Unfortunately, George W is dealing with the lives and health of our military (and the lives of many Iraqi civilians) as well as our fisc.
> What's this? Is Bush saying that jihad
> is okay in general...?
Technically speaking, from what I understand, jihad is just a struggle for for good, not by definition an act of violence. Westerners might use the term 'good works.' So this may be a RARE case where the president said something true.
"Our coalition against terror has killed or captured nearly all those directly responsible for the September the 11th attacks."
Where the fuck is Bin Laden???
Didn't most of those DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE for the 9/11 attack KILL THEMSELVES during the same attacks!?! That means we're winnng?
yo yo .
are you going to do a number on diagramming the abramhoff scandal?
the big sticky tentacled stinking mess that it is?
anon: I've done some preliminary work, but it's incredibly complex. Abramoff playing both sides, Reed, Ney, DeLay, and other players.