Saturday, November 29, 2003

Bush of Baghdad

Bush's little junket to Iraq betrays problems with the Iraq occupation and with Bush himself. On the one hand, the attempts to minimize the risk make the whole exercise reflect the abject failure of the occupation. They essentially flew Bush into Iraq in a metal box, kept him at the airport in a metal box for a couple hours, and then flew him out again in a metal box. I'm surprised they didn't stage the whole thing on at a movie studio in the United States (perhaps they did!). The terror the American government displayed at Bush taking the risk of breathing any Iraqi air merely emphasized the fact that the war continues, and the United States is losing badly. On the other hand, just what the hell is Karl Rove doing taking any risk to the life of the President of the United States for what is no more than a photo op to be used in campaign television ads? The focus groups no doubt showed Rove that Bush was suffering from the completely justified perception that the fodder units mean nothing to him. The shoddy way the troops are being armed, fed, paid, and medically treated, not to mention Bush's failure to be seen anywhere near a military funeral, is starting to be noticed by the general public. Thus, the turkey was delivered to Baghdad. Unfortunately, Americans devour this kind of showy nonsense like candy, and it will no doubt be very helpful in Bush's campaign to be reelected. Part of the spectacle is the story of how secret the visit had to be, and much has been made of who was allowed to know and who was not allowed to know. Despite all the secrecy, someone in Bremer's office must have known about the visit, and if someone in Bremer's office knew, the Iraqi freedom fighters almost certainly knew. They knew where Wolfowitz was when he was in Baghdad, down to the exact location of his hotel room. The Iraqis are starting to find the range with their surface-to-air missiles. What if they got lucky and took Bush's plane down? Does a photo op justify the huge risk of turmoil that would be caused by the death of the President of the United States of America? Of course, the fact that this risk was taken underlines the fact that Bush is a disposable President. Do you think the American government would have taken this risk with a Nixon, or a Reagan, or even a Clinton? If Bush were to be blown up tomorrow, Cheney would simply step in to run the country just as he is running it today. Jeb would be slotted in to run as President in the next election, and no one would even notice that the Chimp-in-Chief was gone. They can risk his life as they know he is of absolutely no importance to running the country.