Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Road Trip!

President Bush went to Iraq yesterday and the one thing I noticed is that his tie was crooked.

The trip was so hasty, so rushed and so bare bones that his handlers didn’t have time to make sure the president’s tie was straight. When President Bush shook hands with the Iraqi prime minister his bright blue tie was shoved into one side of his jacket as though he had dressed in a hurry. For what it’s worth the prime minister was immaculate—impressive since he had even less time to get ready. He was told of the president’s visit about five minutes before he arrived.

The haste was, of course, for security reasons. A reporter on CNN this morning described the elaborate security measures put in place. President Bush insisted on taking Air Force One. He wanted a symbolic entry. Even though they didn’t tell anyone the president was coming, as soon as Air Force One appeared over the Baghdad skies, everyone knew he was there. They descended quickly. The entourage was rushed to a group of military transport helicopters. They flew in low over Baghdad to the green zone. They left under cover of darkness, the only illumination being glow sticks. The pilots flew using night vision goggles. Air Force one took on minimal fuel for speed and then took off straight up, like they do from John Wayne Airport in Orange County, with all lights out and all shades down.

And you can be sure the White House let everybody know about all the security. It was necessary, but it also made great television.

Cynical? I don’t’ think so, not with this administration.

This was a big time piece of political theatre. Like a Bob Hope road trip movie, this trip was heavily produced. This was much like the president’s movie inspired speech from the flight-deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln. Aboard the Lincoln he said the war had been won. In Baghdad yesterday, where the war is still going on, he invoked Lincoln, saying Iraq deserves a government of, by and for the people. It was meant as much as anything to drive home the message that the war is being won. The news out of the Pentagon is the same. Today we hear about “boots on the streets,” more troops, mostly Iraqi troops, being deployed in Baghdad. We are being reminded again and again about the new “Unity Government” in Iraq and the death of al-Zaqarwi.

Karl Rove made a speech in New Hampshire last week in which he extolled his political troops to attack the democrats, to be proud of the war, to talk up the economy, in other words to be positive and to be strong.

This is all part of that. This is the mid term elections in full swing. And make no mistake: although this administration is reckless, arrogant, pig headed, stupid and incompetent in running the country, they are great in elections. Getting elected is what this group does best, and they are in campaign mode. They are loving it, and they believe they can win.

Rove also implied that the democrats are cowards, accusing us of wanting to “cut and run.” That’s fine with me. The last thing I want is praise from a lying, bullying fascist like Karl Rove.


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