Friday, December 13, 2002

The Wiley Ways Of That Wascally Dubya George W. Bush to Barbara Walters (courtesy of Drudge):
BARBARA WALTERS “Well, if you were certain that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction, would you go ahead with the war on Iraq without the support of the United Nations?” PRESIDENT BUSH “You’re doing a find job of trying to pin me down on the hypothetical... and I will deal with those issues if they come. But let me talk about war in general if you don’t mind. War is my last option, not my first option. See, it’s easy in this town for people to commit troops, the US troops, to combat, through opinion and the noise you hear in Washington. But there’s only one person who is responsible for making that decision, and that’s me. And there’s only one person who hugs the mothers and the widows, the wives and the kids on the death of their loved ones. Others hug, but having committed the troops, I’ve got an additional responsibility to hug, and that’s me, and I know what it’s like. It’s hard to know that you’ve sent a loved one into battle and the loved one doesn’t return. Obviously, therefore, you know, when people talk about war here in Washington, you got to know I think awfully hard about the commitment of troops. And obviously if troops are committed to Iraq, I will have made the decision that we will save more lives by military action than otherwise. In other words the commitment of troops will be to not only enforce doctrine, but more importantly will be to enforce peace so that peace lasts.”
This gets back to something I have said before: Bush is very good at making the right kind of noises to make people think he actually cares. But his actions almost invariable run counter to his words. So, Bush says that war is the last resort with respect to Iraq. But his actions tell us that war has been and always will be the primary motivating factor of his foreign policy. He just happens to be clever enough, or deluded enough (I'm not sure which is scarier), to make it look like his inevitable march to war is inevitable ONLY because of what everyone else does. In other words, Bush defines the rules of the game in such a way that the other side cannot help but trigger U.S. retaliation (witness the double-bind the Iraqis are in with respect to declaring their WMD). And then, when that trigger is inevitably pulled, Bush can disclaim all responsibily by saying that he was forced by the actions of others to do what was necessary "for the peace and security of the American people". Isn't that lovely? The beauty of an approach like this is that the inevitable response may look reasonable only if one doesn't look into the steps that lead up to it. Unfortunately for us, the establishment media has an even shorter memory then the viewing public and simply can't (or won't) hold Bush responsible for his actions that lead up to catastrophe. It is hard to beat down a situation like this without getting bogged down in details which are boring and meaningless to most people. As long as Bush and his minions keep pushing forward and refusing to talk about the past this is...well...inevitable.

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