Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Bush: Shut up and I'll tell you later

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP)--President Bush, about to wrap up an intense effort to appear engaged in searching for a way to stop the festival of carnage he created in Iraq, now seems likely to put off lying to the nation about how much things are going to change until next month, instead of during the end-of-the-year ratings sweeps before Christmas, a senior White House official said Tuesday.

The possible new timing is not a reflection of a last-minute shift by the White House, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he doesn't want his Christmas bonus to be a pink slip. Instead, the official said the president already knows the direction he is likely to continue taking his Iraq strategy and has directed his team of yes-men to address the many practical ramifications, such as his singular ignorance of military tactics and regional diplomacy.

That work is complicated and will never be finished, the official said. He dismissed any suggestions that this reflects trouble arriving at decisions or making them work by explaining that the president truly doesn't give a shit.

The announcement out of the White House came after Bush conferred via videoconference with senior military commanders in Iraq, outgoing Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and his replacement Robert Gates; the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Peter Pace; and General John Abizaid, the top U.S. commander in the Middle East. Participating from Iraq was General George Casey, the chief U.S. commander in Iraq. Earlier Bush and Gates had breakfast, and then they took a little nap.

Later in the day, the president met in the Oval Office with Iraq's Sunni vice president, Tariq al-Hashemi, certainly not to plan a coup against Nouri al-Maliki.

Al-Hashemi said only that he planned to tell Bush of his "dismay" over the Shiite-led Iraqi government's handling of security.

"Slow and inadequate action is a problem that we have been facing with this government since it was formed," al-Hashemi said Monday in an interview with Baghdad TV. "Also death squads."

On Monday, Bush went to the State Department for a 90-minute photo-op with advisers there, then lorded it over a handful of experts on Iraq policy who had never been in the Oval Office before. And on Wednesday, Bush will meet with senior defense officials at the Pentagon, soon to be entirely under the CIA's control. Dana Perino, a Bush spokesweasel, said that would conclude the president's pretending-to-listen tour on Iraq.

"I think it's fair to say that over the next few days, after he finishes these last few meetings, that that's when these things start to finalize and crystalize into a strategy," she said. "Then the hard deciding starts."

Two retired Army generals who met with Bush on Monday said the president was very animated for someone so obviously drunk, asking many questions intended to suggest that he was open to change.

"I found him very engaged. I think he's looking for some answers, for some people to blame, and the impression I had was that some loyal retainers were about to get canned," said retired Gen. Wayne Downing in an interview on Tuesday with NBC's "Today" show. "I think you're going to see some new-sounding things come out of that twisted, smirking mouth."

Retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey said the president pretended to be "very sober-minded" and also pretended to listen "intently to different views."

The president, however, has not changed his arrogant public tone about the stakes involved in the war, the importance of declaring victory or his incoherent definition of success--sounding much as he did in the weeks before the November elections, when his strident denials of reality sent voters to the opposition party in droves.

While a bipartisan commission last week described the situation in Iraq as "grave and deteriorating," Bush spoke in positive, not to say simplistic or moronic, terms. He said his goal was to succeed in Iraq. "And success is a country that governs the way I tell it to, defends itself from my enemies, that pretends to be a free society, that helps me pretend there's a war on terror, and puts money in my pocket."

The president said his aim was to coordinate advice from his diplomatic and military advisers "so that when I do speak to the American people, they will think that I've listened to all aspects of government. See, that way I get what I want, which is them to shut the fuck up."

The administration has rejected calls for U.S. troop withdrawals until Iraq can govern and defend itself, even though it governed and defended itself for decades before we got there.

In an apparent reference to Syria and Iran, Bush said Iraq's neighbors have a responsibility "to help this young Iraqi democracy survive." The bipartisan commission, headed by longtime Bush Crime Family enablers James A. Baker III and Lee Hamilton, urged that the United States engage Syria and Iran but Bush thinks diplomacy is for pussies.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great post, thanks. Don't know if you've seen this David Letterman clip with Our Fearless Leader in it, but its pretty funny--