Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bush Gets No Respect

As George W. Bush's ratings drop, and the Iraq war becomes increasingly unpopular for the majority of Americans, he did what he does best.... "give another chest-thumping victory speech."

As Dana Milbank points out in, "Commander in Speech," (WaPo) Bush rolled out his latest version of "Mission Accomplished" before a White House-assembled audience of a few hundred officers from the National Defense University at Ft. McNair.... to almost thundering silence.

"Bush got to his payoff line -- 'the Joint Chiefs of Staff have recommended that we move forward with additional force reductions, and I agree' -- but only one guy near the back of the room clapped. He stopped quickly when he realized nobody was joining him."

Bush's nodding acquaintance with the truth has caught up with him. The officers assembled knew that seven years after 9/11, and over five years after the invasion of the wrong country, a shift of some troops from Iraq to the real al-Qaeda hotbed in Afghanistan next February is disastrously overdue.

They knew as Bush presented the move as a product of the surge's success saying, "As al-Qaeda faces increased pressure in Iraq, the terrorists are stepping up their efforts on the front where this struggle first began," that in reality, the growing violence in Afghanistan came about largely because the United States was distracted in Iraq.

The stony audience knew that when their Commander in Speech was thanking the Coalition of the Willing for sending more than 140,000 troops to Iraq that there were, as Milbank notes, "only 7,330 foreign troops helping U.S. forces in Iraq; the number of troops apparently dropped so low this week that, for the first time, the State Department omitted the tally entirely in its weekly Iraq status report."

As Milbank points out, "There was a time, not long ago, when such a major presidential speech would draw 15 television cameras; yesterday there appeared to be only four, including Japan's NHK.

"The hosts set aside 24 seats for reporters, but there appeared to be only three reporters in the press section. Only two members of Congress -- both backbench House Republicans -- showed up for the talk.

"And Marine Lt. Gen. Frances Wilson, the university president, was comically brief in her introduction. She opened by saying she was 'honored to welcome our commander in chief,' then immediately closed by adding 'without any further ado, the president of the United States.'

" 'Thank you, General, for your kind and short introduction,' Bush replied."

The Decider has become the Rodney Dangerfield of presidents.... he gets no respect.

Deservedly so.

As Bush exits stage left in a few months, we can only hope that John McSame doesn't enter stage right to reinforce and continue Bush's failed policies. After all it was Barack Obama who years ago called for a shift in focus to Afghanistan and the terrorist strongholds in Pakistan.



elgringocolombiano said...

ur homie Joe Biden is not turning into Attack Dog Joe.

Disgusting. Obama & Biden gotta fight back the smears hard, or they're gonna lame out & lose like Kerry. Unacceptable.

Truth Hunter said...

elgringocolombiano, Joe was in Des Moines earlier this week and did a pretty good "attack" event... but it wasn't covered by the media to any extent.

Sarah has taken the media oxygen out of the room for the moment, but that will... should... change.

But, I agree in general Biden seems muzzled and it's puzzling since the Rovites are in full lying form. I can only assume this is by direction.

I'm listening to Obama right now, he's in his element talking about community service. I'm sure he's reluctant to do the attack-type of campaign.... but agree they have to have stronger, and quicker, rebuttals and most importantly the media's cooperation.

Let's see how things develop.