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Friday, June 08, 2007
(11:39 AM) | Stephen:
Reality Starts To Break Through

Via Atrios, we see a mainstream media source finally starting to understand that George Bush has no strategy for Iraq whatsoever:
Just how long is the issue of the day in Iraq-obsessed Washington. And frighteningly, no one seems more confused about the plan than Bush himself. In two separate appearances in the last week, he alternately invoked last fall’s Baker-Hamilton report—which envisioned a substantial pullout by early 2008—and America’s South Korea occupation, which has been a robust front-line presence for more than 50 years. Which is it?

Neither, as it turns out. The Washington commentariat has suggested recently that Bush seems ready to pronounce the imminent end of his “surge,” which by several accounts has failed both to secure large parts of Baghdad and, on a more strategic level, to prod the still-paralyzed Iraqi government to govern. “I would like to see us in a different configuration at some point in time in Iraq,” the president said at a Rose Garden news conference on May 24. So is he talking about a “Plan B?” he was asked. “Actually, I would call that a plan recommended by Baker-Hamilton, so it would be a Plan B-H,” the president joked.

In fact Bush has no intention of going back to Baker-Hamilton, says a senior White House official.
The entire time Bush has been in office his public pronouncements have consisted of saying whatever is most expedient to him at the time, with no regard to the ways in which he may be contradicting members of his administration or even what he might have previously said. NCLB, sending astronauts to Mars, the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives, repeated commitments to fight AIDS both in the US and worldwide - all of these have been grand-sounding statements and proposals that have been ignored, left unfunded or otherwise neglected once the short-term political benefits had been reaped.

Iraq is no different, of course. The rationales for the war, the strategies being employed for our forces, even who we consider to be our enemies have all changed from one day to the next, dependent only upon the questions asked at the press conference or perhaps a new poll or editorial. It's been an effective strategy because it recognizes and exploits Americans' short attention spans and the human desire to reconcile cognitive dissonance with some sort of narrative thread even if that means constructing the narrative out of whole cloth. That last part has been the role of the press, which is made up of people even more dependent upon constructing a narrative with which they can define and inform the subjects of their articles, cable news shows and books.

While it's frustrating to see such a tepid response to Bush's mendacity regarding what exactly he's planning on doing in Iraq, both long and short term, it's surprising that there is such a response at all. It shows how people in the unbelievably insular world of the Beltway are finally starting to see what the majority of Americans have been seeing for years now: George Bush is a dangerously delusional megalomaniac who will say and do anything in order to advance his personal interests, no matter the cost to anyone else.

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