Another mission unaccomplished

By DOUG THOMPSON

His bravado beaten down by his many failures, a tired President George W. Bush went before a weary nation Tuesday night in a last-ditch effort to convince a doubting America and a hostile Congress that his attempt at leadership has not been a dismal, complete and utter failure.

As speeches go, his State of the Union address was better than some of his previous efforts – devoid of the multiple verbal gaffes that have marred his Presidency.

But if motivation of a nation weary of war and skeptical of his policies, lies and missteps was Bush’s goal, he can mark this one up as just another failure in a Presidency of missions unaccomplished.

Tired he may have been, weary he may have appeared, but Bush remains defiant to the end on Iraq, insisting against all odds and the advice of his military experts that his latest act of desperation, the “troop surge” will yield results other than the loss of too many more American lives.

“Let us find our resolve and turn events toward victory,” he told a disbelieving Congress where the new Democratic majority and an increasing number of Republicans oppose his actions and his war.

In a war where victory is not possible and failure is inevitable, Bush remains steadfast in his willingness to wage it without justification and overlook the mounting American casualties without remorse.

Apparently, there wasn’t enough pancake makeup available to cover the deepening circles under the President’s eyes but all the makeup in the world could not cover the emptiness behind those eyes. They show a man devoid of emotion, a man without compassion and beyond reason. His failed Iraq war, like so many of his personal and Presidential shortcomings, define a legacy that historians will no doubt call one of the debacles of American history.

Bush is a modern day captain of the Titanic, going down with a doom ship that sank under the illusion of invincibility. Unlike Bush, that captain of that ship had the sense and decency to tell passengers to get off the sinking ship and did not ask them to go down with him.

No one expects a State of the Union speech to be a tome of fact. It is always a work of fiction, a fantasy delivered in defiance of reality. But Bush, as he always does, pushed that fantasy to new heights. He did not even mention Iraq – the defining failure of his Presidency – until 3200 words into the speech and when he finally got around to the number one issue in people’s minds he continued to cling to illusionary claims of progress and the imaginary belief of victory.

He invented progress in his so-called war on terror, claiming to have prevented attacks that no one else has been able to prove were even planned and, astonishingly, trumpeting a non-existent victory in Afghanistan where his decision to pull out troops and send them to Iraq allowed the Taliban to regroup and rebuild their stronghold.

Some pundits praised Bush’s speech Tuesday night as his best State of the Union address but “best” is a relative term when it comes to the President’s oratorical skills. Best can mean he didn’t trip over his tongue that many times.

True, he steered away from some of the rabid, right-wing causes of past speeches: No call for a constitutional amendment to prohibit gay marriage, no talk of abortion or other staunch Republican issues. And he talked of oil conservation and environmental issues he has avoided in the past six years.

But that was window dressing – fluff to draw attention away from the three benchmarks of his Presidency: Deception, disunion and denial.

He has deceived the American people, the Congress and the World community over and over again – lying outright to try and justify his failed war in Iraq. He has promoted disunion in this nation, dividing it by disregarding the Constitution he swore to uphold and stripping away many of the freedoms that Americans thought were protected by the laws he chooses to ignore. And he remains in a constant state of denial: Refusing to accept his many failures and avoiding responsibility for his actions.

On Tuesday, the President of the United States had one more chance to prove he can learn from his mountain of mistakes and move to correct the many actions that have defined his incalculable failures.

Once again, he failed. At this point, the only way George W. Bush could inspire this nation would be to resign from office – effective immediately.

Comments

  1. John

    Ladies and Gentlemen the problem here is that if certain historical facts are allowed to be viewed and retained by the general public then those responsible for the less that 100% historical renderings heretofore available to the world and sworn certifiably accurate of said group may well be neutralized or worse rendered unbelievable therefore removing one of the greatest sources of potentially undeserved sympathy and never ending free flowing financial gain known to man thus far in history. In addition and associated with the above, the release and continued exposure of such information could very well necessitate the reduction in usage of one of the most useful derogatory terms in the English language heretofore used by certain groups or individuals in place of what would normally be referred to as an answer to a critical inquiry or opinion pertaining to actions of said group or individual(s).

  2. Jennifer

    Yeah, Kent.
    Honestly pullup R.H. McNaught’s comet. It might seem really strange, but that’s Indian prochecy and it is unbelievable, beautiful, honestly.
    If and when people state TRUE FACTS, shouldn’t we listen, shouldn’t we question, look and see for ourselves.
    I have/you have…welcome to the brotherhood of man!
    I do not know of the total murders of the indigenous people of NA, they didn’t keep track of us…just elimination. Reservations then are our concentions, again!!!NOW already built by Clinton and now Halliburton. did you honestly think these were for Mexicans, no they are for people like you and me who bitch about NOW. I honestly, wonder, how many Americans know what was truly done to us?They would then question everything that is happening to them NOW and wonder why, this is
    Patriot Act means, total control,
    Look up to the sky,

    Jennifer/Wisdomkeeper

  3. Kent Shaw

    Let us not forget that the United States itself has a long “proud” history of genocide, beginning with slavery, the virtual extermination of anywhere from 16 to 60 million (Jennifer, you may be able to provide an accurate number here) North American Natives, and continuing on with the deliberate starvation of around 10 million Germans right after the end of World War 2 (so much for good Christian loving of your enemies, especially already vanquished ones). Talk about your holocausts!! And, now, starting with “Gulf I” we have exterminated well over a million and a half Iraqis by all methods including denial of needed medicines, lingering effects of DU poisoning, and the more recent “collateral damage” (what a nice sanitary term to describe such evil deeds) from bombing Iraq back into the stone age. Here is a nice link describing the philosophy of the “Fundamentalist Christian”. Think about this, especially you of the Jewish faith who may have fallen right in line behind the current fundamentalist neoconservative efforts in the Middle East. The currently wholly supportive fundamentalist Christian might in reality be considered the MOST dangerous threat to the citizens of Israel.

    http://civillibertarian.blogspot.com/2007/01/fundamental-evil.html

    Doug, if you need to remove this posting I’ll understand, as it is a rather inflammatory, although truthful in my opinion, diatribe regarding fundamentalist Christianity.

    – Kent

  4. Jennifer

    You know, I am a historian. I am also an American Indian.
    Please look at history. I am a speaker, also. I did not feel that Ray giving that web-site, which I read and thought was totally informative, did anyone any harm. There are good people in all races, wake up and realize this.
    Look at the state we are all in…we need to know the TRUTH, even if it might offend others. Look at ALL the lies, which we have been handspooned ALL our lives, about this government and our leaders????
    Get with it people!
    Most of you don’t know really what happened to my people and ALL indigenous people who OWNED this country! I’ve posted facts…true facts…I could post many more facts of what is truly is happening now, if anyone was truly interested in how there use to be 500 Nations,
    filmed here, by Kevin Costner, Pathway Productions. You ca pull all 6 segements on the internet….we’re the last segment…………I watched them film it in 1993.
    Most won’t listen, because true historcial facts hurt the facade we have been told and truly believe. It’s like scattering a piece of glass and then you hear the noise, and it scatters…it shocks you…well get ready for more shocks if most of you aren’t awake.
    There are good people, within all races…good & bad, whether they be Jews, Arabs, Christians, Indians.
    Again wake up, look to the skies.
    Thank you Kent for your comment…if we don’t speak out, how are we all he
    An amazing comet(absolutely beautiful) appeared this month, part of the Shawnee propchecy…it’s named after the discover…R.H.McNaught, absolutely will hopefully make you all look to the skies. Oh, by the way..I found it on rense.com, which he has been informative for many, many years.
    Jennifer/Wisdomkeeper

  5. Kent Shaw

    PS — In the second paragraph above I intended also to specifically reference the modern day country of Turkey.

  6. Kent Shaw

    I can criticize the policies of any government in the world, but, if I criticize the policies of the government of Israel I will be called an anti-semite. Jimmy Carter is finding this to be true, as did Walt and Mearshimer in their article critical of AIPAC, JINSA, ADL and other lobby groups.

    I would suggest that anyone interested in such things conduct their own unbiased research of historical events occurring over the last hundred years in the area now occupied by the modern day geopolitical entities of Egypt, Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia and its surrounding Gulf States, along with the history of Eastern Europe and Western Europe. Having done that, one should be able to arrive at his or her own conclusions and support his or her own arguments supported by historical fact.

    For example, it is a fact that both Jews and Muslims indigenous to the area today known as Israel are both Semitic people. One could accurately refer to these religious entities as Arabic Jews and Arabic Muslims. There are also European Jews and Persian Jews, and there are Indonesian Muslims. For various reasons, many of these peoples feel they have been abused in some way by the others. In any case, I don’t think it is fair to start throwing around the ‘anti-semite’ epithet as soon as one points out historical fact. It would be a good idea to include accurate context along with the fact to provide a certain amount of lucidity.

    It is anti-semitic to say “I hate Jews”. It is not anti-semitic to point out that Israeli forces attacked the US Ship, Liberty, in 1967. It would be equally anti-semitic, though not often though of in this manner, to say “I hate Muslims.” It all depends on context and frame of reference.

  7. Ray

    Skyguy

    I agree wholeheartedly but that is difficult to do when any historical facts that offer why and what and who are immediately thrown out of the discussion as racial or anti-semite.

    Must history be rewritten?

    Must obvious manipulations of our congress via special interest groups be ignored for fear of political incorrectness?

    The foriegn policy of the U.S. is heavily weighted to favor (censored). A nation is allowed to aquire WMD from us, against and in violation of treaties. But any mention of fact that could possibly lead to answers why the nation is engaged in this self destructive mode and direction, brings immediate censure and condemnation.

    Control the debate. Provide only evidence that you approve. Castigate any

    differing or opposing theory. Suppress all discussion.

    And we all wonder why it all continues going to hell in a handbag. The destiny of man is controlled by man. Someone always benefits from events, minor or major. The cause of the events can usually if not always be traced to the ones who benefit from the event.

    But when truth or even open discussion and debate are suppressed with the sham of “political correctness”, the reality will not be uncovered and we will continue on, disgusted with a feeling of helplessness to make a change.

    The links that I provided and was so condemmed for,

    were not to be anti-semit

    or racial in any way what so ever. But only to provide other historical information that could be considered when attempting to find possible explainations of what led the country to the point we are at. The Editor uses very nasty terminology when describing the president or congressmen or administration. No one condemns those personal insults, but don’t dare say the J word or offer a different historical account which happens to be documented fact. Is that our definition of equality and freedom of opinion? I want the readers of this blog to know, I have no prejudice to any ethnic race, I never have. I do have a terrible strong sense of demanding truth and accountability and fairness for all. If certain groups are responsible or involved in events that effect the human condition, I feel that it should be known.

    This planet is a human condition. Conditions are controlled by man, therefore can be improved by man. Obviously the control is not in favor of fairness for all. WHY?

    Ray

  8. skyguy

    Ya know, I’m really getting tired of reminding folks that’s “it’s not about Bush, stupid.” It is all about the powers behind the throne. And those powers are the dark and malevalent forces that are making our lives Hell.

    ‘Bush this’ and ‘Bush that’ is wasted time and energy. “F” Him!!!, and his entire regime. FOCUS on the powers that are pulling the strings – the Halliburton’s, the Exxon’s, the IBM’s of the world. Blog about the crimes those entities are perpetuating. Shine light into those dark corners were those vermine live and trade and scheme.

    GET MAD AT CORPORATE AMERICA!, ’cause they’re sure as Hell not in love with you.

  9. Keith

    The basic problem with his latest “surge” strategy for Iraq is that Mr. Bush and his clowns are now running out of Army to do it with.

    Does anyone remember Mr. Bush’s grand announcement at the start of 2006 that the 145,000 troops currently stationed in Iraq would be cut back to 100,000 by the end of the year? Clearly, that isn’t going to happen.

    That’s because, in reality, it’s not the size of the military that matters…it’s what (and when) you call on them to DO what they DO. This President has been trying to wage what I’ve come to call “wars on the cheap”…not in terms of blood or treasure (which have been substantially more than any war since Viet Nam), but simply in trying to fight and win aggressive, expansionist “total” wars (plural) for which he simply doesn’t have anywhere NEAR the troops to adequately do the job.

    That is, right at the start of the latest war in Iraq, these clowns arrogantly ignored their own senior Generals’ calls to go in with overwhelming force…enough troops on the ground to do the job and to also have a reasonable hope of securing the country BEFORE an insurgency could get started.

    What’s more, that ignorance was compounded when Bush put “good’ old boy” Bremer in charge of running post-invasion Iraq. And what was Mr. Bremer’s first action in that role? He immediately fired the entire standing Iraq Army! So now, there were tens of thousands of unemployed (not to mention hungry and restless) armed combat troops all running around with absolutely nothing to do.

    Because Mr. Bush and his arrogant minions lost the initiative at containing insurgency right at the beginning of the war, they are now hopelessly behind the power curve to the point that they are increasingly relying on Guard and Reserve troops (not to mention recruiting 42 year olds into the Army!) to try and stem the tide. And it isn’t working.

    For example, dwell times (the time “home” between combat tours) for our active duty Army have dropped from nearly 24 months down to, in some cases, little more than 8.
    Eight months between combat tours simply doesn’t give our people anywhere NEAR enough time to re-train and re-arm (not to mention spending much needed time with family).

    What’s more, some of our troops are on their third combat tours in Iraq. Is it any wonder that US military recruitment and retention are now plummeting?

    And, even IF Mr. Bush and his clueless band of idiots were to start TODAY to recruit more troops, those troops wouldn’t be anywhere NEAR being combat ready for at least two years.

    The bottom line here is that, in the first Gulf War, and under the able direction of General Colin Powell and President Bush (the Senior) we went into Kuwait with overwhelming force, a clear objective and a clear exit strategy. We went in, did what we said we were going to do, and that “mission” was “accomplished” in a matter of a few months.

    However, this time, “Dubya” and his ignorant warmongers went into Iraq without ANY credible objective (other than his lies about removing WMDs and “liberating Iraqis”) and without the overwhelming force that all of his senior Generals at the time clearly stated they needed.

    What’s more, and as Bob Woodward so eloquently documented in his latest book, when the initial invasion was being planned, there was nothing even APPROACHING a clear exit strategy nor planning for securing the country once Bush and his Cabal had finished killing people and breaking things. The result is that we are now going to be tied up in Iraq for DECADES, regardless of all the lofty withdrawal projections they’ve been feeding us…. including all the “give it a chance to work” BS Bush fed us in his State of the Union address the other evening.

    ALL of these “textbook-classic” military mistakes are absolutely inexcusable. And they are precisely why the debacle in Iraq now just keeps getting bigger and will continue to do so in the months and years ahead.

    But, they are yet more indicators of this crowd’s collective arrogance and complete ignorance of how to effectively fight a war…and, by extension, their absolute incompetence to effectively lead our nation.

    We need to cut our losses and bring our long-suffering troops home. To do otherwise… to keep them there indefinitely all the while knowing that the war IS lost…is to keep killing our troops for no justifiable military purpose.

    And, any way you cut it, that’s murder.

    Unfortunately, stupidity and incompetence in high office aren’t impeachable offences. However, outright fraud and the continued, senseless killing of our troops for no military purpose clearly are.

    When the likes of true statesmen like James Baker and Colin Powell tell us that Mr. Bush’s foreign policies are now on the wrong track, then it is clear…beyond any shadow of doubt…that our country is in deep, serious trouble.

  10. Will Write

    He asked Congress to give his plan a chance…He said that those who voted for his war did not vote for defeat…but that’s what he has delivered. There is no victory in this mess. It is lost. 72% of Americans think Bush is an idiot. The other 28% must just be embarrassed. As I have said before, we have already lost in Iraq. The only way to lose worse than we have today is to be in Iraq tomorrow. If you think that 21,500 troops are the end of his plans for throwing more cannon fodder into his war, then you must believe in WMDs and Tinkerbelle. If he sent the 200,000 troops he really wants today, impeachment would be completed before March 1st. Trust me, the Neocons are not done screwing that pooch which is Iraq, or the American People.

  11. zaphod

    I haven’t watched a state of the empire show in over 15 years. I’m not waisting my time hearing morons, who’s only skill is to win rigged popularity contests every 4 years, lie to me.

    I would, however, like to point out, something people miss about the moron and thief shrub-boy. Every job he’s had is because of Daddy. And Daddy has pulled the rug out from under him every time because he took “Piece of Cake” CEO jobs and ran the firms into the ground. He CEO’d a Carlyle Group oil services firm, ran it into the ground, got replaced, and within a year the firm was back in the black. The tale goes on until shrub-boy was made Gov of TX. Of course TX govenors have little power, so he couldn’t f things up much.

    Now he’s Moron of the United Hates Empire and he don’t have to listen to Daddy and his pals. Daddy can’t force him out. The constimatushun that he refuses to apply to us protects him.

    I can imagine his deluded musings:

    Pa always made me resign just before my final solution turned things around. This time he can’t…I’ll show him…I’m gonna winnit! Gimme more of the same I been doin an’ this time it’ll work, by gum.” And I can see Vice Moron Dick Head and the neo-clown war pigs cheering his “astute” analysis on.

    Moron shrub-boy is a P.O.S. Always has been always will be. He’s this empire’s Nero.

  12. TM writes:

    What kind of troll are you Ray?
    The hate filled, anti Jewish link you provided has absolutely nothing to do with the subject at hand.

    My apologies to our readers. I missed that post and it should have been removed (it has been). I don’t allow Antisemitism or any form of racism, religious or ethnic, on the web site.

    –Doug

  13. Gerry O

    The question for this country should be: How the hell did we wind up with such a dumb sonofabitch for president?
    If you believe in karma then we are going to be paying heavy for these years of ineptitude and corruption.
    Thanks doug for your continued rants.

  14. TM

    What kind of troll are you Ray?
    The hate filled, anti Jewish link you provided has absolutely nothing to do with the subject at hand.
    You need some serious help.

  15. Steve E.

    I wish I could say it was unbelievable that he would not mention New Orleans. It shows the total lack of respect he has for these poor people.

    Nothing this guy does can surprise me anymore.

  16. JimZ

    Good Rant, Doug. I as other posters can’t add much value to that.

    I do want to mention that Bu$h failed to mention 3 words:

    KATRINA NEW ORLEANS

    Guess he didn’t have much to say about that?

    At least Webb picked up on it and mentioned it almost immediately in his rebuttal. I wonder if Webb injected that into there on the fly?

    Lebanon will be rebuilt before New Orleans.

  17. W. Paul Smith

    Every time I see Dick Cheney the theme from “The Godfather” starts playing in my head. As bad as George might be, I would rather that he not resign as long as Dick is waiting in the wings. If we could get both of them to resign, that would be as close to Heaven as I can imagine in this horribly broken world.

  18. Dorothy

    I agree with much of Mr. Thompson’s Rant, one I appreciated reading. With one small squibble: The casualties in this misbegotten war go well beyond American ones. Let us never lose sight of the fact that Iraqi civilian casualties number in the tens of thousands. I would hate to think that, if there were no single American casualty, we would all be less enraged at this horrendous situation.

  19. Gerald Sutliff

    I kept expecting the plaster of Paris makeup to fall off and revel, nothing but a vacuum!

    More importantly Bush’s performance makes me desire a constitutional provision for a meaningful vote of No Confidence.

  20. hewhoasks

    Bush may have deceived the American people but he’s now only deceiving only about 30% of them. Plus himself.

    Nor did he actually deceive the Congress way back when they voted him near-complete authority to do anything he wanted in the middle East. Enough of the members of Congress had to know they were foolishly giving him powers he should not have (neither rationally nor Constitutionally) but they were political cowards and gave the powers to him anyway. Even though only Congress has the power to declare war (but did not) this is not just Bush’s war, it’s also Congress’ war. They had the power and the responsibility to stop him and didn’t use that power.

    Let this be a long-term lesson to Congress and to the American people. Giving the President powers he should not have (read the Federalist papers for a discussion of why) is a bad idea. We should never again make this mistake.

    Never again.

  21. Carl Nemo

    Standing ovations for Caligula…?! This was the most nauseating display of a lovefest among hypocrits! This man doesn’t even deserve a handclap and most deservedly should have had a “no show” on the part of Congress. Our duly elected
    “republicrats” will surely disappoint us, so the electorate best prepare for a stab in the back during the next two years. All they are obsessessed with is running another “duty loser” for the Presidency. The atmosphere in D.C. is more like the last days prior to the fall of the Roman Empire in 476 AD. The enemy is no longer at the gates but now sit in the halls of Congress. The only refreshing moment of the evening was Senator Jim Webb’s 9 minute “round” as he worked Bushco against the ropes concerning his failed “war-profiteering” agenda. People always say “God Bless America”, but after last nights state of the union, I believe America needs Gods help immediately if not sooner. We are in “harms way” with these mattoids in control. I say Jim Webb for President!

  22. Kent Shaw

    The following appeared in today’s Harrisburg, PA, Patriot-News daily newspaper. I am the guilty party. I use my middle name, Kent, on this website to avoid confusion with Mr. Doug Thompson’s name. Please note the dripping sarcasm; please do not interpret literally (as many of our local goober christo-fascist population certainly will).

    – Kent

    Letter to the editor:

    I just did a bit of quick math. So far around 650 thousand people have died in Iraq as a direct result of its invasion by the United States in 2003, and the U.S. war effort has so far cost around 370 billion dollars. Simple math reveals a cost of somewhat more than 560 thousand dollars per dead Iraqi. I believe this reveals yet one more instance of fraud, waste and abuse within the U.S. government. Shouldn’t we be able to kill people for a lot less than a half million each? It is time to eliminate public funding for war and let free markets work their cost efficient magic. This would certainly bring down the cost at the pump and eliminate the need for energy conservation for many decades to come.

    Douglas K. Shaw
    Mechanicsburg

  23. Kaine

    I just figured they were all standing when they applaud, to cover the fact that they all forgot their Preparation-H!

    After that speech, I could use alittle of that myself!

  24. bigfoot

    “You said you’d never compromise
    With the mystery tramp, but now you realize
    He’s not selling any alibis
    As you stare into the vacuum of his eyes
    And ask him do you want to make a deal?

    How does it feel
    How does it feel
    To be on your own
    With no direction home
    Like a complete unknown
    Like a rolling stone?”

    -Bob Dylan