While he may appear to be crying on the outside these days about whether or not history will vindicate his legacy, you don’t have to pity George Bush. According to the recently released Draper biography; he’s doing plenty of that himself. And why not? His Katrina photo-op was ruined by all those poor people from the Lower 9th who are refusing to make way for the new golf courses. The latest Zogby poll shows more than half the country wants him impeached over the wiretapping scandal and/or his role in 9/11. Rove, Snow and Gonzales have all gotten out before indictments start flying. Britain has started pulling troops out of Iraq. Things have gotten so bad that according to some polls, more people now believe in Santa Claus than Bush.
It’s small wonder then that for his first few weeks back from his yearly stay at the ranch, just after setting the record for most days taken on vacation by a president while in office, Bush set to conducting a goodwill tour, trying to sell people once more on two used wars, Iraq and Afghanistan, and a brand new one he’s got waiting in the wings, Iran. While the tour features elaborately produced travel footage and some interesting special effects, the chances of people buying in this time are about as slim as Larry Craig finding work as the men’s room attendant at the Boise GOP headquarters.
First, Bush’s trip to Iraq was supposed to amaze and thrill us with both his courage and the peaceful situation the country now enjoys. Of course, he did pick the securest base in the place, in the Anbar province, enjoyed a security detail of 10,000 soldiers and only stayed for six hours. Interestingly enough, the only province in the country that shows any sign of Americanized progress is this one occupied mainly by Sunni Moslems, members of the religious minority in the country, a group once led by America’s former ally and favorite whipping boy, Saddam Hussein.
Then there’s the latest Osama bin Laden video which once again clearly shows the roots of either Osama’s former training as a Rumsfeld protégé or republican scriptwriting. When the tape came out in time for Bush to capitalize on it for 9/11, Bush, of course, saw the tape as further proof of the need to stay the course in Iraq, while many of the rest of us, even right-wingers, like Newsbusters‘ John Stephenson, simply called it “fake.” Perhaps the world’s most famous Saudi has embraced Grecian Formula to darken his long ago grayed locks and shifted his studies from the Koran to William Kristol, otherwise the pedigree of the terrorizing tape is dubious at best, for his warnings about “interest-related debts, insane taxes” are the kind of tidbits that only scare the Limbaugh crowd.
Then when Bush went down under, he caused Australia to spend one hundred and seventy million dollars improving their own homeland security to protect America’s leading exporter of fascism against Sydney itself. As Aussie wannabe John Howard preened at hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, his country saw some of the worst fighting they’d been involved in since the war began, as police brought out the riot gear including their latest version of a three-mile long, 10-foot high rabid-proof fence and a $600,000 water cannon, and media ban in the area.
Finally, surprise, surprise, General Petraeus’ (AKA “generally betraying us”) long awaited report for Bush on his job of conducting the war reveals that … guess what? Dave thinks he’s doing a swell job and wants him to keep at it. Further, he’s hoping we’ll all agree without him having to go into the details. As Keith Olberman noted, once upon a time Americans thought the Petraeus report was going to be written by the general himself, then we learn there won’t even be a written report at all, just a casual mention.
Depending on whose version of the success rate you’ve heard, the Iraq government has accomplished three out of the 18 benchmarks Congress had set, or three completed and four partial, or, my favorite, “only failed 11 of 18,” which according to Petraeus translates to a glowing success. Rumors and leaks had long confirmed the general and his staff took successive turns “softening” the report on our military successes–softening, such a sweet word for lying. If this report gets any softer it’ll list Katrina as a blustery day, Vietnam as the 51st state, and Custer will be described as having had a bad hair day.
And so, you see, no matter how sad Bush appears to be, one has to wonder if it’s all a façade, because, if he can get America to once again back another year of tossing $200 billion into the rabbit hole at Halliburton et al, then inwardly he’ll be laughing his ass off as he readies us for the next war.