Monday, December 15, 2008
Closer to the truth
At one level it's deserving that George Bush's "Rudolph One" photo-op trip to Iraq was dominated by the al-Baghdadiya shoe-thrower. But it does mean that yet another brazen repackaging of the Iraq war (presumably a component of the Bush Legacy Project) will be missed. Here's Bush speaking to the single safe non-Republican audience before which he can appear, the troops --
This is my fourth trip to Iraq -- and you've probably heard I'm heading into retirement -- (laughter) -- so it's going to be my last trip as the President. But thanks to you, the Iraq we stand in tonight is dramatically freer, dramatically safer, and dramatically better than the Iraq we found eight years ago.
THE PRESIDENT: And as a result of the sacrifices of our troops, America is safer, and America is more secure.
THE PRESIDENT: I want to take you back to what life was like eight years ago here in Iraq.
Note that the eight years was mentioned twice and therefore not a mistake. Thus his claim now is that Iraq was a problem he was handed coming into office.
Perhaps Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie think that's a handy way to implicitly blame Bill Clinton for the war, but it's a strange argument for Bush to make. Does he mean that he was actually gunning for Saddam from Day 1 and 9/11 or WMD was just a handy way of doing it? That's certainly what his March 2003 behaviour might lead one to believe, when it was him, and not Saddam Hussein, who kicked out the UN inspectors.
One other thing from the speech --
Killers who wanted to take the lives of Americans back home have been brought to justice before they reached our shores.
Can the White House name a single terrorist plot against America that has been interrupted by the war in Iraq?
UPDATE: Bush cavalierly admits that he was looking for someplace to turn into a battlefield against al Qaeda. Flypaper is back. Shame about the death toll.
White House photo by Eric Draper