Thanksgiving Is Ruined
May 25, 2004
If Chalabi was last week's con man, then Dubya is this week's. The speech was a snake-oil pitch.
We're going to get rid of "illegal militias"? Sure, by giving them all police uniforms and calling them "Iraqi Civilian Defense Forces". Hey, they're not illegal anymore, right?
We've got "12 government ministries under the direct control of Iraqis"? The "Iraqis" have been selected as tractable shills by the CPA, while the contracts to run the ministries go to colonialist contractors. But the guys we put in charge are Iraqis, right? Hopefully they can pay for bodyguards.
"Iraqis will know that when they build a school or repair a bridge they're not working for the Coalition Provisional Authority, they are working for themselves. And when they patrol the streets of Baghdad or engage radical militias they will be fighting for their own country." Bush can call it "full sovreignty", but really what he means is "full blame." If the electricity is not working, or a carbomb goes off, it's not Bush's fault. It's the fault of those Iraqis who just aren't rising to the task of self-government.
Yeah, we'll leave 138,000 troops there "until liberty is achieved", and they'll still be totally under US control, free to do whatever they deem necessary. But since we've asked the UN to validate our military presence, it's all great!
Abu Ghraib? Well, we'll knock it down! After we build a new maximum-security prison and if the Iraqis give approval.
International involvement? "Despite past disagreements, most nations have indicated strong support for the success of a free Iraq. And I'm confident they will share in the responsibility of assuring that success." Has Bush gotten any assurances from these nations? No, but he's "confident". Yep, they'll fork over the cash and the soldiers to bail us out of this tarpit- right after we land a man on Mars.
The biggest con, of course, is the one Bush has been pitching from the beginning: that Iraq is the frontline of the "war on terror."
Tomorrow is going to be a very miserable day for Republicans. This speech was nothing but puffery for a scam, and their polling is going to indicate it's a flop.
The pathetic mewling against the mean ol' press will get hysterical over the next several months. But that's not a campaign platform that can win.