Reality-check time: Iraq is having a civil war. Saddam Hussein was holding Iraq together. When Bush says Iraq is better off without him, he's wrong. When he says we're better off without him, considering the cost to the US in lives, money, and distraction, he's wrong about that too. BTW, I'm not a Democrat and I'm not running for office.
And, if we weren't stuck in Iraq we could be totally focused on rebuilding New Orleans, an American city, where Americans lost their homes, where Americans lost their lives. What utter dysfunction that we goes on with such a huge disconnect hanging over us. Iraq isn't America. Why are we fucking around in Iraq again?
NY Times: "Mr Lott, a Republican and former majority leader, is one of thousands of homeowners on the Gulf Coast who have been fighting with their insurers over payments for damage in Hurricane Katrina."
Josh Marshall: "They ditched an imperfect but working policy. They replaced it with nothing. Now North Korea is a nuclear state."
CNN: "War has wiped out about 655,000 Iraqis or more than 500 people a day since the U.S.-led invasion, a new study reports."
News.com: "Notes version 7.0.2 adds support for RSS."
A little bird landed on my shoulder and whispered in my ear. "Tweet tweet. Psssst. Hello Dave. I have a rumor for you from an anonymous source." My ears perked up. I always listen when a bird says this to me. "I heard that Nick Douglas is leaving Valleywag to do a web video show with one of the big video producers." Interesting! From my ear to your eyeballs.
When I hear that Bush is planning on invading Iran I think of how well it went with Iraq.
In our form of government it's possible for a near-majority to be part of a country whose values no longer even remotely reflect their values. My America would never attack another country unless the provocation was severe and the threat was dire. However, in my lifetime we have gone to war over and over (not just in Iraq) with countries that had not provoked us and where the threat was not dire.
If I lived outside the US I would hate this country. Now, ironically, I feel like I live outside the US.
This feeling came home when, in the midst of the Foley scandal, the President, all alone, tried his schoolyard bully act on the Democrats, again. This time it was so obvious that the Democrats couldn't possibly be the problem. He's up there advertising his bravado, his manhood, and attacking the Dems because of their "soft side." Of course this is calculated, and it's so close to sexism that it has to be sexism. Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton do have their soft sides, I'm sure. But being tough, mindlessly tough the way Bush is, is far from what we need now. There is hope for the US because he is so naked, so alone, his approach so failed, even the Christian fundamentalists can see it now. Yes, you want to have a person with morals with his finger on the button. And no, the Republicans we elected are not those people.
I said this after the 2004 election, when I was living in Seattle and on my way to living in semi-rural Florida, the war is between Bush's evildoers and the good folk, except his enemy lives in the minds of American cities, in educated people who care about and think about the future. His philosophy asks people to think with their emotions, to ignore what they see and believe what he wants us to believe. I wasn't raised that way.
If you recall, early in the Bush presidency they boasted that they weren't reality-based, and they were being remarkably honest. But eventually we have to get back to reality. A person who smokes for 30 years eventualy has to deal with the disease it causes. A country that attacks and attacks and attacks, with real weapons and occupying armies, will have to deal with the humiliation that inevitably follows. We ran from Vietnam, who doesn't think we will run from Iraq too?
In Bush's vision for America it's a sign of weakness to question his judgment. That was not the vision the founders had, and there's no reason the rest of us should accept this.
His rhetorical tricks are simple. If I say you complain a lot, then I can do whatever I want, and if you complain, I just point my finger and laugh -- See I was right! Everyone has a good laugh, and we ignore whether there was cause to complain. This kind of slop is creeping into discourse everywhere, the cultural influence of Bush Republicanism is going to live long after he is history. But that kind of discourse isn't going to dig us out of the hole he put us in.
© Copyright 1997-2006 Dave Winer.