Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Get drunk on Bush...

If I could bear to see him or listen to him, I'd watch...but since I'm not about to look at or hear him, I'll leave it to those honest souls among us to report on just how many lies, spins, variations on the truth, exaggerations, etc he comes up with:

The Bush Speech Drinking Game
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t Perspective
Tuesday 28 June 2005

"But we know that nothing of value is ever earned without sacrifice." -- Condoleezza Rice, addressing US soldiers, 19 March 2005

"We," eh? "We"? That's interesting. I'm not seeing a lot of "we" in the 1,743 dead American soldiers from Iraq, the ones who bore the sacrifice Rice used as a talking point back in March. I'm not seeing a lot of "we" in the story of Pfc. Diane Cardile, the 23-year-old troop who is sitting in a German hospital with extensive burns.

Cardile got those burns last Thursday, when a suicide bomber outside Fallujah drove up next to the truck carrying her and several other Marines, smiled, and blew himself up. 13 Marines were injured in the blast, 11 of them women. Five Marines died in the explosion, two of them women. None of them were named Condi, so her "we" is, shall we say, misplaced.

The Bush administration will be using soldiers as props for political theater once again tonight. George himself will stand up tonight, surrounded by a mob of troops, to tell us that everything is great in Iraq, that there is a "clear path to victory" in that conflict. Probably someone should have gotten this memo to Don Rumsfeld before he went on television this weekend to say that the "clear path" might take twelve years to complete.

I doubt Rumsfeld would have read it, however. After all, he is the fellow who told us in February of 2003 that the war "could last six days, six weeks, I doubt six months." That February also saw Rumsfeld telling us Americans would be welcomed in Iraq by people "playing music, cheering, flying kites."

Oh, by the way, Bush's message will also state that nobody miscalculated in this invasion and occupation, and for sure nobody lied. Those aren't vultures in the skies above Baghdad and Fallujah, waiting to feast on the unburied dead. Those are kites. What you hear isn't screaming, but cheering, and nobody in the Bush administration made mistakes regarding Iraq. George said it himself in April 2004, when asked during a press conference if he had made any errors during his first term. "Gosh, I don't know," he said in response. "I'm sure something will pop into my head here."

What has been popping into Bush's head lately are numbers, bad numbers, low numbers, scary numbers. Gallup, whose poll numbers have been unswervingly slanted towards Bush since the 2000 election campaign, reports that only 32% of independent voters support the Iraq invasion, and a clear majority of all Americans think the whole thing is a disaster. Bush's overall approval ratings are sliding towards the freezing point with each passing day. What we will see in tonight's speech is nothing more or less than an attempt to stop the bleeding. The political bleeding, I mean, not the actual bleeding. Truth and fact won't play a part in the show.

You have to wonder, though, how many people are going to buy what George will be peddling. After all, this is the guy who told us in May of 2003 that, "We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories. You remember when Colin Powell stood up in front of the world, and he said, Iraq has got laboratories, mobile labs to build biological weapons. They're illegal. They're against the United Nations resolutions, and we've so far discovered two. 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."

We did, eh? Here we go with "we" again. I guess "we" doesn't include Hans Blix, who found nothing of the sort in Iraq. "We" doesn't include Bush's own hand-picked inspector, David Kay, who likewise found nothing of the sort. For sure and certain, "we" doesn't include the authors of the Duelfer Report, which describes the meticulous, extensive two-year search for these weapons, a search that did not find anything.

So, to recap: Everything is fine in Iraq. No one made any mistakes. No one lied, or even exaggerated ("We have also discovered through intelligence that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas. We are concerned that Iraq is exploring ways of using these UAVs for missions targeting the United States." - Bush in October 2002) about the threat posed by Iraq or the reasons to go to war there.

Tonight should be interesting. If I were still in college, I'd propose creating a drinking game based on this speech. Drink a beer after every lie. Drink a beer every time Bush says "freedom," or talks about September 11 as if those attacks had anything to do with Iraq. Drink two beers after every wildly unrealistic assessment that has no basis in fact. Drink a beer and a shot every time he says "Nukular." Two beers, a shot and a kick to the head every time he thanks the troops around him for the sacrifices "we" know must be made. Anyone still standing after ten minutes wins a Kewpie doll.
It's probably a good thing I graduated.

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