Monday, March 20, 2006

The "Scare Quotes" Edition

Unless you live under a rock (actually, knowing some of the people who read this, that's a very distinct possibility- and I mean that quite literally), you know that today marks the third anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. I think it's something we're all trying to figure out.

I was studying abroad when September 11th happened; when I came home in late December Americans feared shoebombers and wondered where Osama was. When I left the country in February 2002 to study abroad again, we were championing the "successful overthrow" of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Upon my re-return to the States in July, suddenly, everyone as talking about invading Iraq. I felt like I'd missed a step in logic- what happened to Afghanistan? How was Iraq involved? Wait run that by me again? People had to explain it to me over and over. "You see, there are these weapons, and if Saddam has them..." But I just couldn't quite get it.

But I still don't get it.

I didn't get it when Bush stood on a ship on my birthday almost three years ago and declared "Mission Accomplished."

I don't understand how Bush can be "encouraged" by the "progress" while former Ayad Alawi concedes that his country has degenerated into civil war.

"It is unfortunate that we are in civil war. We are losing each day as an average 50 to 60 people throughout the country, if not more.
"If this is not civil war, then God knows what civil war is."
Mr Allawi added that a national unity government may not be "an immediate solution" to the country's problems.

I don't understand why Bush is going on the road to promote the efforts of the war while still not demonstrating any hint of a plan. The whole debacle has always been comparable to the quagmire of Vietnam; if the situation weren't;t so grave, the comparison would be comical at this point. Just like Dicky Nixon had a secret plan to get us out of Vietnam, Bush has total confidence in the troops, and secretly, somehow they will get us out. Finally, a man who understands my nebulous usage of the word secret!

Finally, I don't understand how Bush can continue to ask Americans- and de facto, the Iraqi people- to make such extreme sacrifices when he won't even maintain his symbolic sacrifice.
Sorry I don't have a link for this one, but it's just too good to pass up:

Dana Milbank reports on breakfastgate, reported here earlier:
President Bush is a man of steely discipline, but it appears the commander in chief has not gained complete mastery over his sweet tooth.In a new book by author Stephen Mansfield, "The Faith of George W. Bush," the following passage appears on page 173: "Aides found him face down on the floor in prayer in the Oval Office. It became known that he refused to eat sweets while American troops were in Iraq, a partial fast seldom reported of an American president."Seldom reported -- and apparently little observed. When the White House sent out the shared "pool report" of Bush's roundtable interview with reporters aboard Air Force One en route to Australia, it became apparent that the president had fallen off the candy wagon."And he was relaxed. Very relaxed," was the description. "As a reporter began to ask about the Middle East . . . Mr. Bush popped a butterscotch Lifesaver in his mouth. He smacked the candy as he said: 'Middle East, that's right.' "


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