The Hole Truth
“You want me to talk about poll and I won’t talk about polls
.” George W. Bush 3/21/2006
For a man who doesn’t watch nor cares to talk about polling data, George Bush certainly has a strange way of showing it. The man who won’t talk about polls has a habit of “informing the public” on issues such as Iraq when polling shows that public support for his policies have deteriorated. (If I am not mistaken, this is the second time Bush has sought to “inform the public” about condition in Iraq.) He also found himself “informing the public” about Social Security reform when public support for his plan fell flat.
So, Bush has decided to “inform the public” about the conditions in Iraq by not talking about conditions in Iraq. Bush loves to talk about Tal-Afar as a great success story of his Iraq policy. Of course, when I listen to Bush the story that I hear about is one of incompetence and a failed policy to win the peace and maintain stability. According to Bush, the US military has had to defeat the insurgents for control of the city, not once, but twice. If Tal-Afar isn’t a sign of competence
, well then nothing is. And on a lighter note, according to some reports, the insurgents are returning to the city. Perhaps the third time will be the charm.
In the president’s effort to inform, while not talking about polls he is most fond of talking about the role that a free and democratic Iraq will have in the Middle East. According to Bush Iraq will lead to a wholesale change in the governments like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Syria, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. I have questions as to how India and Israel have not inspired their neighbors in the Middle East to become more democratic. Clearly the viability of Bush’s reverse domino effect is in doubt. Could it be that this is the time, when the third time (India, Israel and Iraq) will be the charm.
During Bush’s March 21st, press conference revealed what many have said from the beginning about Bush’s war of choice, he hasn’t got a plan for winning the peace, or the withdrawal of troops from Iraq. Oh wait a minute; he did say that the troops would come home when three conditions are met in Iraq. The first is political stability. (Well we aren’t there yet; the Unity government has adjourned indefinitely after swearing themselves in.) The second is security. (We all know that Iraq would be stable if the media would just stop reporting all the improvised explosive devices (IEDs), the suicide bombings, and of course sectarian violence as civil war.) The third condition that will lead to troop withdrawal is economic stability. (By this measure the troops will never leave Iraq.)
Of course, I haven’t even taken into account the presidents belief that if the US were to withdraw that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and the several thousand al Qaeda terrorists would take over Iraq. Such thinking on the part of Bush indicates that he doesn’t really believe that the Iraqis, despite their differences are capable of establishing a government without the “assistance” of the US government. Noting the history of Iraq, I have serious doubts about al Qaeda being capable of imposing their will, their religious beliefs upon the majority of Shiites, the “Saddam loyalist,” or the Kurds. By his own admission, Bush appears to believe that al-Zarqawi and his band of al Qaeda terrorist are capable of doing in Iraq what 130,000+ US military cannot. Bring about a stable government.
George Bush is now in a position where his father’s wealthy and connected friends are incapable of protecting him from himself. Unfortunately, it is also a position that we find that Bush is unable to protect the millions of lives that have been forever altered by his desire to invade Iraq. On Tuesday, Helen Thomas gave Bush the chance to finally answer the question as to why he chose to invade Iraq, noting that his pre-invasion justifications have proven to be without merit. Of course he decided to filibuster the question.
I have to confess; I finally found something that I can agree on with Bush. It does appear that problems of Iraq will have to be dealt with by future presidents and the members of congress. Remember, this is George Bush, the man who grew up knowing his father’s friends would protect him from himself by bailing him out of trouble with the law, with Vietnam, his National Guard service, and of course his successful
business career. I am not surprised, that the problems of Iraq will fall upon someone else. And you should not be surprised either.