I'm feeling increasingly optimistic about disposing of Dubya. He really is getting heavy fire from both sides these days, the funny side and the unfunny side.
Of course, the humor-based attack is Michael Moore's primary angle in the Fahrenheit 9/11 movie. Is he just reacting to the BushCo propaganda? Or is he just that politically shrewd? Perhaps both? Of course, it's obvious that Rove has tried to recast Dubya as presidential since 9/11. From the reviews I've seen, it appears the main point of the film is that Dubya is a laughingstock, at least as far as fighting terrorism goes. I'm really looking forward to seeing the film as soon as possible. I'm sure it makes Dubya look stupid, but how stupid? Fire-the-loser stupid?
Don't forget that before 9/11, and especially in the 2000 campaign, Dubya sang a different song. He was supposed to be just a regular guy who just accidentally happened to be the stinking rich son of a president, and who was just lucky to have so many stinking rich friends eager to invest in his campaigns. I think the case for Dubya as a cunning and vicious fool is quite strong, but I keep remembering that a lot of people thought that's some flavor of what they were voting for in 2000. However, they either thought the fool would hire smart assistants (like Rumsfailed?), or they were persuaded by the crazy rightwing propaganda that Gore was some sort of dangerous monster. (Too bad the American presidency is no longer suitable for nice guys like Gore or Jimmy Carter.) Is Dubya the fool he originally pretended to be? The new and improved presidential fool? And what will the voters want in November?
Meanwhile, the anti-humor attack is mostly blowback from Iraq. Now we have a movie aspect there, too, with new films of the prisoner abuse. Honor and integrity? Sure thing, coming right up--as soon as BushCo can find some gaps in the unending streams of lies. Restore America's dignity? Is that anything like the human dignity we took from the Iraqi prisoners? Iraq is almost certainly the biggest and most impressive failure of all of Dubya's miserable failures. There are just so many ways to slice the failure in Iraq... American deaths? Loss of all international influence except for the old gun in your face method? Extreme abuse of power to the point of systematic war crimes? All that money flushed away? (Except that BushCo got kickbacks, so they don't regard that part as wasted.) Building a "new and improved" Al Qaeda? Dead Iraqis? Oh, I keep forgetting. Dead Iraqis don't count. They're just untermenschen.
Actually, I think BushCo's failure in education policy is also a strong contender as the most miserable failure, but it may take decades for that damage to become fully apparent, and even longer to assess it. Every other BushCo policy has failed, too, except maybe the environmental policy. Trick question! BushCo doesn't even have any environmental policy, so those failures have to re-filed in other categories.
You'd think that someone should be held accountable. Punish someone significant like Rumsfailed? Perish the thought. (Saddam doesn't count--the reason he's been punished is only because he quit the team.) It reminds me of some comedian's joke about Dubya admitting that there was a security failure on 9/11 and punishing someone, even if he had to retroactively fire someone from the Truman administration. Guess it depends on what you remember. Most people remember Truman for "The Buck Stops Here", but BushCo only remembers the bit about "Never apologize."
So let's see what the voter's remember in November.
I'm currently increasingly convinced there is no direction in Iraq but out, and the only question is whether it's before or after the election. Before, and it would be a politically fatal admission of his blunderhood, so we can basically rest assured that Dubya will not bring the troops home by Christmas. Doesn't matter how many soldiers and Iraqis do the resting, as in RIP.
The context that got me thinking about this involved considering the Israeli policies towards the Palestinians as models of the American policies in Iraq. However, I think this is only peripherally relevant to the situation in Iraq, and mostly it only serves as another bad example of how to handle such situations. As an American I'd actually prefer to use the American Revolution as the bad example. At least it's a "bad example" from the perspective of King George III. The bottom line is that all such examples show that lots of people are willing to fight very hard when they believe they are fighting for their freedom. Sometimes that's religious freedom, but the exact nature of "freedom" doesn't seem to matter much. Yes, there have been many historical cases when the "freedom fighters" or "terrorists" or "patriots" or "criminals" (depending on who won and who's speaking) do lose in their struggles, but people have a tendency to persist in such struggles, and in the end, I think they usually win--unless they are exterminated as a people. Freedom is a really powerful motivation.
Right now it certainly seems like a large number of Iraqis have decided they are fighting for their political freedom (or national identity). The alternative is remaining in (or returning to) the status of being an American client or puppet state. Other Iraqis apparently believe they are fighting for their religious freedom--and one can scarcely blame them with lunatics like Ann Coulter on BushCo's side. Probably Dubya, too, though he hasn't actually publicly said their leaders should be slaughtered and the masses forcibly converted to Christianity the way Coulter did. I actually doubt that these "freedom fighting" groups are a majority of Iraqis, but there are two funny aspects there.
First, if you took a poll of Americans at the time of the Revolution, I bet that most of them would have said it was a bad or crazy idea. Completely nuts to fight the British supreme-superpower-of-that-day. Actually, it was kind of amazing we did win, and the war would have dragged on if the French navy hadn't helped out at just that moment.
Second, Dubya is not and never has been worried about acting for the majority of Americans--only about dragging or suckering enough of them along. Obviously Dubya's only real interests were in getting into power, and then in using that power to do what he wanted to do anyway. King George II?
Returning to the latest screwups in Iraq, apparently BushCo has changed their minds again on the Falluja mess. We don't actually like THAT general, but we want one of Saddam's OTHER generals to take over the mess. We'll trade that popular general for another general to be named later? Crazy.
My guess on the REAL situation is that BushCo realized this guy was too popular. They actually managed to talk to some Iraqis, and they discovered that they regarded this "solution" as an Iraqi victory. Allowing the Americans to be defeated would be a BIG mistake. If the Americans get "whipped" anywhere in Iraq, the whole country is liable to go nuts, and we can't allow any more of that, can we? So now the Marines have stopped withdrawing and are preparing to counterattack again. Or maybe not. Or maybe...
There have been a number of comments about the significance of the prisoner abuses, but so far not much light has been shed. For now, I still believe those sorts of problems are inevitable in these sorts of situations, but on some reflection, I'm kind of surprised we got our American hands dirty there. I actually thought that handling these sorts of things was part of our secret understandings with the Kurds. Very difficult to speculate when BushCo is so big on secrecy, but if there was such a clause, then the actual problem is probably much larger than revealed so far, since most of it would have been passed along to the Kurds for discreet "handling". (An additional reason to read Dean's new book? Apparently argues that BushCo is even more abusive of power than the Nixon gang. It would be interesting to compare the chronology of abuses in Vietnam.)
Can't remember where to credit this, but it definitely belongs in the humor category. It was supposed to be an analysis of possible political solutions to the mess. Remember Colin Powell? No? Well, anyway, if you could remember him, he's supposed to be involved in that sort of diplomatic stuff. But the hilarious part was saying that a "broader political solution" could have made it possible to use Indian troops to get the numbers needed for the occupation of Iraq. Riiiiiiiight. Anyone else remember that the whole idea of India was to get the Muslims out of there? Not even BushCo could claim that the Iraqis would greet the Indian troops with flowers.
In the tragedy category, I was reading about an entire outfit who got their chain yanked real hard. They'd finished their long hitch in Iraq, turned their heavy equipment over to their replacements, and even shipped their personal effects home. And then they got new orders to stay in Iraq. Shock and awe big time. The shock was the orders, but the awesome part is that Rumsfeld thinks they'll be happy about it. All 'dem soldiers be lil' Colin Powells, right?