Wednesday, January 11, 2006

"People need to watch what they say..."

That was what then Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said about a hapless comedian who took a lot of heat for commenting on the courage of the 9/11 terrorists shortly after the attack. The statement was outrageous then, and it resonates even more deeply today. That is why the Emperor in Chief's comments to the VFW yesterday, as reported by the NY Times were so chilling.

President Bush issued a stark warning to Democrats on Tuesday about how to conduct the debate on Iraq as midterm elections approach, declaring that Americans know the difference between "honest critics" and those "who claim that we acted in Iraq because of oil, or because of Israel, or because we misled the American people."

In a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars here, Mr. Bush appeared to be trying to pre-empt a renewal of arguments about whether to begin a withdrawal immediately, as Representative John Murtha argued in November, or whether to keep a large presence in Iraq through the year.

...In some of his most combative language yet directed at his critics, Mr. Bush said Americans should insist on a debate "that brings credit to our democracy, not comfort to our adversaries." That follows a theme that Vice President Dick Cheney set last week, when he said critics of the administration's conduct of the war risked undercutting the effort to defeat the insurgency.

..."There is a difference between responsible and irresponsible debate, and it's even more important to conduct this debate responsibly when American troops are risking their lives overseas," he said. But he never singled out his critics by name.
[Emphasis added]

It is ironic (albeit horribly so)that the Resident, who lied us into this illegal invasion and who was advised against the incursion by one of his father's chief advisors and by his own Secretary of State ("You break it, you own it"), continues to couch the discussion of this debacle in terms of "victory." He has toppled the Great Satan and he has destroyed the army of one of the triumvirate in the "Axis of Evil." Of course, along the way, he has also destroyed the Iraqi infrastructure and crippled Iraq's main source of wealth: oil production. That there might be Iraqis who object to the continuing occupation of their country after all of this destruction apparently means we haven't quite achieved what now seems to be that illusive victory he keeps harping about.

But even more chilling were the words in the ending quote of the story:

In discussing Iraqi politics, Mr. Bush directly addressed Sunni Arabs, a minority in the new government, saying, "Compromise and consensus and power-sharing are the only path to national unity and lasting democracy."

He added, "A country that divides into factions and dwells on old grievances cannot move forward and risks sliding back into tyranny."
[Emphasis added]

The first part of the quote is laughable. Does Mr. Bush even understand the words "compromise and consensus and power-sharing"? Nothing his regime has done in the past five years gives any indication that he does.

It is the second part of the quote that is so stunning, laden as it is with the unspoken threat directed as much to dissidents in this country as to the Sunnis of Iraq.

Sorry, George, it is only by dwelling on our past grievances, the stolen elections, the lies that got us into this mess, the cronyism in which ideology means more than competence and integrity, the illegal spying on Americans by their own government, that we will be able to get out from under the tyranny this country has devolved into.


Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

Great post. Well said. Someone posted a piece by Noam Chomsky over at Atrios' blog this morning.

I liked the part where he said it's unlikely we Americans would have cared so deeply about bringing democracy to Iraq if their chief exports were pickles and cabbage.

6:02 AM  

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