Wednesday, December 03, 2003
::: Ok, So Bush Is A Toad :::
Ribit! I knew that. Yet, on November 27, 2003, I posted an atta-boy
for him. I did so hastily, because I knew the fur (feathers) would fly
over the visit.
For the record, I still say it was probably a good morale booster for
some of the troops ... that is unless they were made to wait for
hours for their Thanksgiving dinner and made to pose pretty pics
with Bush in another military outfit. Since the Carrier Stunt was
not well received, it must has been their grandest dream for
Blasted from all sides, I found this take the sum of what was really
happening. Considering the ghastly treatment our troops have
received, I am quite surprised they did not strangle him on the spot.
A Chickenhawk Thanksgiving in Baghdad
It is doubtful that Bush is perceptive enough to note the ironies implicit in both his presence and his pronouncements, though surely Karl Rove and his fellow cogs in the White House spin machine got a chuckle out of every nuance. While speaking for purposes of ostensibly expressing gratitude – isn't that what the holiday is all about in the first place? – Bush's words served instead both to perpetuate illusions and to inculcate fear. The President's repetitive mantra of "terror," "danger," freedom" and the like – the familiar buzzwords guaranteed to fulment unreasoning emotions in the hearts of all good Fox-viewing Americans – seemingly found its origins on Madison Avenue rather than Pennsylvania Avenue.
Deftly baiting-and-switching the public's attention away from the 60 personnel slain over the course of the preceding month or the spiraling costs of a mission he had declared "accomplished" mere months before, Bush's underlying message to America seemed to be that the boogeyman was at the door, that danger still stalked the stars and stripes, and that only continued neo-colonialism could protect our TVs, toasters and steel-belted radials from sinister terrorists.
It was a propaganda coup of the first order, replete with adoring camera angles and wildly cheering multitudes, all conducted under a shroud of Stalinist press secrecy. Indeed, the administration and its media admirers seem to regard its very deceit of the public and the press a point of pride. Lost in the torrent of excited blither from small-screen news anchors and pundits was a fairly basic question: Why was the chief executive of the United States, an ostensibly democratic nation, skulking into Baghdad when we'd been told he was in Crawford, Texas? Why were we lied to?
London summed it up nicely:
Overseas, however, the reaction was less muted: "The Turkey Has Landed" was the sneering headline in London's Independent.
But important, if unasked, questions linger about a president who foregoes both taste and honesty in his advancement of his agenda – questions of integrity, character and ethics.
So much for what Granny thinks ...