Sunday, February 18, 2007

How About a Game of Solitaire, Mr. Bush?

Frank Rich has a great teaser for his February 18th New York Times Op/Ed piece, “Oh What a Malleable War”: “The team that once sold the country smoking guns in the shape of mushroom clouds has completely lost its mojo.” Rich later says, “For all the sloppy internal contradictions, the most incriminating indictment of the new White House disinformation campaign is to be found in official assertions made more than a year ago. The press and everyone else seems to have forgotten that the administration has twice sounded the same alarms about Iranian weaponry in Iraq that it did last week.” But the spin factory is dithering and unsure without the sure hand of Karl Rove. It’s so out of kilter that the White House is not on the same page with the Pentagon and the Pentagon is not on the same page with Congress. And press secretary Tony Snow has to make so many contradictory assertions his eyeballs are revolving in opposite directions. Rich puts the lie to Bush’s claim, “My job is to protect our troops. And when we find devices that are in that country that are hurting our troops, we're going to do something about it, pure and simple.” Rich points out that the problem with our troops not having proper gear or armor to fight a war has been going on since 2003 and Bush has done nothing about it. Rich gives a number of reasons why Bush would claim to “do something” by lying about Iran. 1) “His real aim is to provoke war with Iran, no matter how overstretched and ill-equipped our armed forces may be for that added burden. By this line of thinking, the run-up to the war in Iraq is now repeating itself exactly and Mr. Bush will seize any handy casus belli he can to ignite a conflagration in Iran.” Or, 2) The Bush administration needs to “distract the public from reality that runs counter to the White House's political interests.” This distraction ploy has been the modus operandi of the White House since 2000. When the going gets tough, scare the shit out of folks. Or, 3) Since Congress has within its power to cut funding for the war in Iraq, provoking war with Iran is the Bush administration's last ditch effort to prolong the war in Iraq. Since reasons Number 1 and Number 3 are so patently insane, does Frank Rich give any logical explanation why the Bush administration wants to prolong a war it can’t win in Iraq by promoting another war it can’t win with Iran? Rich does give an explanation. But it cannot be termed logical since the men who are building a case for staying in Iraq and going to war with Iran are out of their minds. Rich points out that the politicians in Iraq that the Bush administration has endorsed are the very men who have made an alliance with Iran. Rich says, “When you have a president making a big show of berating Iran while simultaneously empowering it, you've got another remake of 'The Manchurian Candidate', this time played for keeps.”

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