Saturday, February 04, 2006

An Unimpressed View of the State of the Union Address

Most liberals were quite put off by the Emperor's State of the Union Address, finding it dull and the same old same old, with, of course, the possible exception of the hilarious comments on banning human-animal hybrids. Our view of the speech is apparently shared by watchers in other parts of the world, including Russia, whose Novosti (the Russian News & Information Agency), parsed the speech rather nicely.

The annual address of the U.S. President to the nation is entitled the "State of the Union Address." But the fifth such address, delivered by President George W. Bush on Tuesday, January 31, seemed like an attempt to whitewash his administration's actions.

...Americans' rejection of the Bush policy in Iraq is not the only factor behind the precipitous fall of the president's approval rating, which have dropped to 41% over the past 12 months. His administration's clumsy effort after Hurricane Katrina, corruption scandals involving the pillars of the Republican Party, the disclosure of a network of secret prisons in Europe, and lastly the president's personal involvement in the unconstitutional eavesdropping program, provided the background for the speech. To give himself a new lease on political life and shore up his flagging popularity, the President needed to deliver a masterful address.

...He told Americans nothing substantial about the painful Iraqi problem. He again announced the imminent victory of the U.S.-led military coalition.

...Worse still, Bush couldn't explain the shocking failure of U.S. Middle Eastern policy over the last few days. The idea of spreading the American model of freedom there has resulted in the electoral victory of a terrorist organization in Palestine. Hamas would not have rallied such nationwide support but for the U.S. military campaign in Iraq.

...George Bush was fantastically lucky this time: he did not confuse Iraq and Iran. He described the latter as "a nation now held hostage by a small clerical elite that is isolating and repressing its people."

The president believes it possible to appeal to Iranians over the heads of their leaders, who were elected in a democratic, even if slightly faulty, procedure. He decided to speak directly to the Iranian people: "America respects you, and we respect your country," he said. "We respect your right to choose your own future and win your own freedom." Freedom from their current leaders, apparently.

That revolutionary appeal, just like the rest of the address, was broadcast live in Farsi, one Iran's main languages. After this faux pax, no one can persuade the Iranian leadership to continue talks on their nuclear program with the United States, Russia and the European Trio.

...Initial reactions to the speech from Bush's colleagues have been super-critical. No matter what he was speaking about - catastrophe in Iraq, the mess he made of the budget or the horrendous cost of corruption that is eating away at the administration - all of this spoke "more of a state of his personal self-denial," said Congressman Lloyd Dogget (D - TX).
[Emphasis added]

While Congressman Dogget probably was miscast as a Bush "colleague," his response is perhaps the most succinct and accurate analysis of the entire fifty or so minute speech. That the Russian editorialist would feel that analysis was correct is telling.

What is also telling is that the editorialist recognized the effect of the Emperor's direct appeal to the Iranian public. I'm sure Moscow also recognizes the pattern of the American regime's movement to refer Iran to the UN Security Council. They saw the same pattern just about three years ago.

Time to tighten our collective seat belts once again. I'm sure Moscow is probably feeling the same way.


Blogger IceNeedle said...

I agree with the Moscow Press. This President really feels he has the pulse of the public behind him.

However, his administration is constantly shoots the messenger that brings in bad news. A very nasty habit from corporate america.

This Administration also enjoys shifting history around as well. Changing the facts of the past, in order to hammer down the rhetoric of today.

I take particular note about scientists and math as being our big dropping points today. Well Mr. President, your administration has not exactly been warm to science. Of course its been much closer to money and rhetoric if it sounds good for your administration.

11:04 AM  

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