According to Bush, if we leave Iraq we embolden extremist movements throughout the Middle East.

I heard him twang out these words the other day. I know what it means but I looked it up anyway: the courage or confidence to do something or to behave in a certain way. Give me an effing break! The terrorists need more confidence? (Afterword added 8/4/07: Why Bush is no FDR)

Here’s the full quote.

There’s no doubt in my mind that Gordon Brown understands that failure in Iraq would be a disaster for the security of our own countries, that failure in Iraq would embolden extremist movements throughout the Middle East, that failure in Iraq would basically say to … people sitting on the fence around the region that Al Qaeda is powerful enough to drive great countries like Great Britain and America out of Iraq before the mission is done.

When we finally do leave Iraq it will either be a planned and sensible withdrawal as most critics of the president’s policy advocate, or the desperate Vietnam-like rooftop of the embassy retreat likely if we stay there until the country devolves into a melee of warring factions.

In either case, of course there will be celebrations in remote mountain hideaways where al Quada leaders will rejoice in victory over the American devil-king. There will be videos released of joy in the al Quada training camps and the villages which they control with cheering crowds and men firing rifles into the air.

Could this be the knee to the groin and slap in the face Bush really fears? Worldwide humiliation? Public phallic detumescence?

Bush would have been beaten by a lanky rebel with failing kidneys who could care less about schmoozing with the yacht and country club crowd Bush calls his base.

We never were at war with al Quada in Iraq, but Bush created this lie as his reality and tried to market it to the public to sell the war.

When we leave Iraq to resolve its civil war, al Quada will declare a victory and Bush will probably finally have no choice but to admit the truth, i.e., that we were never really fighting al Quada there.

What choice would he have? I can’t see him sticking to “his story” that Iraq was the center of the war on terrorism (aka al Quada) and that we had to beat them there so we wouldn’t have to fight them at home. That would be admitting defeat and telling us we’d better be ready for suicide bombers in Mayberry.

When people like Bush loose they never say the magic three words: I was wrong. They blame others. In this case Bush will blame the very Iraqi leaders he is praising now.

Afterword: Why Bush is no FDR A quote that speaks for itself:

…in 1938, Roosevelt tried to pressure Marshall, then the Army’s deputy chief of staff, into consenting to a delay in the development of large ground forces until seven airplane factories could be built.

As a dozen officials’ bobbleheads went up and down, Roosevelt asked Marshall, “Don’t you think so, George?” Marshall resented Roosevelt’s “misrepresentation of our intimacy.” He said, “I am sorry, Mr. President, but I don’t agree with that at all.” As Marshall later recalled, Roosevelt “gave me a startled look, and when I went out they all bade me goodbye and said that my tour in Washington was over.”

It wasn’t. Roosevelt was not used to such frank disagreement in large meetings, but he admired Marshall’s grit and conviction and soon promoted him.


From New York Times review of two books on Eisenhower, Marshall and MacArthur.

Bush would have fired General Marshall.

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