Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Tony Snow Explains It All For You

Yesterday, Editor and Publisher published some of the dialogue between Tony Snow and reporters at the White House Daily Briefing. One reporter asked a straight-ahead question about Iraq. “ Are we winning?” the reporter asked. “We're making progress,” Snow said. “I don't know. How do you define ‘winning’? The fact is, in taking on the war on terror -- let me put it this way, the President has made it obvious, we're going to win. And that means, ultimately, providing an Iraq that is safe, secure, and an ally in the war on terror. And at any given time, as you've seen in previous wars, there are going to be spikes in violence. And it is natural for Americans who have -- really are probably the most empathetic people on the face of the earth, to feel deeply the loss of those who have given their lives in battle.” There you have it. The White House fantasy as illuminated by press secretary Tony Snow is this: Wars kill people and Americans are within their rights to mourn. But ultimately at some point in the unknowable future, the US will win and Iraq will be safe and secure and an ally in the war on terror. As told by Tony Snow, the White House has a kind of “Never on Sunday” view of the tragedy the Bush administration has forced on the world. In that 1960 film from Greece, Melina Mercouri played an appealing hooker who was fond of regaling her admirers with storylines from Greek tragedies. But since the tragedies were so tragic and Mercouri’s hooker was an optimist, she always ended each retelling with, “And then they all went to the seashore.” In that great pie-in-the-sky deluded world where George W. Bush lives and dreams, at some time in the mysterious and incomprehensible future the US will win in Iraq. And then we all can go to the seashore. Another reporter engaged Snow in a back and forth about whether in fact the White House still believes in the principle that when the Iraqis stand up, the US will stand down. After much sophistry and skirting of the issue from Snow, the reporter said, “So they are standing up, but we're not standing down. So is that principle no longer operable?” And Snow said, “It seems to me that we're playing -- this is kind of a fun verbal game.” That’s the way it seems to me too. The Bush administration is playing verbal games, which it thinks is a lot of fun. And George W. Bush is living in never-never-land, which he thinks is a lot of fun. And the real fun for the rest of us is only three weeks away.

No comments: