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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Bush Speaks

Some notes from President Bush's speech to a VFW (Veterans of Foreign War) post in Kansas City, Missouri today:

PRESIDENT BUSH: You have fought in places from Normandy to Iwo Jima, to Pusan, to Khe Sahn, to Kuwait, to Somalia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
MADMAN: You haven't, Georgie-Boy. Despite the pictures of you of you in a flight suit after a US Navy pilot landed you on the USS Abraham Lincoln (and the GI-Joe-type Bush-doll in a flight suit); and despite the photo-op you presented yourself with as you exited the jet fighter on the Lincoln's flight deck; and despite the claim that it was you - not the actual pilot - who landed the jet (an initial claim by the Righties, quickly reversed when they realized they couldn't get away with it), you are no hero and you are no member of any VFW in the nation. You see, Mr. President, you actually have to have fought in a war in a foreign land in order to be a member of one of these posts.
And what about Viet Nam, Mr. Bush? How come there's no "Thank You" to the veterans of that American war? Funny how AWOL Lieutenant Bush (who had better things to do than finish his Reserves' Flight Training) doesn't want to mention the one war he actually had a chance to participate in. I guess shutting up isn't part of the plan when one doesn't put up anymore.

BUSH: As members of this proud organization, you are advocates for the rights of our military veterans,
MADMAN: Does someone want to show this guy a picture of the residences around Walter Reed, our nation's main military hospital? For those you who don't remember, our heroes were living in filth right under the President's, and the Republican-led Congress' nose. Good thing you didn't bring pics of that one to the Vets.

BUSH: I stand before you as a wartime President. I wish I didn't have to say that, but an enemy that attacked us on September the 11th, 2001, declared war on the United States of America. And war is what we're engaged in.
MADMAN: Actually, you stand before them as a war-of-choice president. By now, even the casual observer realizes that Iraq and Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11. In short, no matter how many times President Bush "catapults the propaganda" about Iraq, it still doesn't make it so. An in the interim, our real enemy, al-Qaeda who was homed in Afghanistan and Pakistan, has grown stronger; the Taliban is back in Afghanistan even after we already won that war; our allies in the middle east are fearful of their own people; and Muslims world-wide - already not our biggest fan - have been given Bush-fuel to add to their already hot-burning fires.
Nice job there, GW.

BUSH: Thank you for volunteering in the service of the United States of America.
MADMAN: Psst... President Bush... Many of those members of the VFW actually didn't volunteer. I'm sure the true enlisted men got a kick out of that one.
But it's true that YOU, LT. George W. Bush, did actually volunteer to serve your country while the Viet Nam war was being fought. You volunteered to stay back in Texas; you volunteered to fool around while working on an Alabama GOP candidate's Congressional campaign; you volunteered to forego the final year of flight training in your Texas National Guard supplied jet; you volunteered to miss a scheduled flight physical making you AWOL; and you volunteered to be transferred to Alabama's Air National Guard - the one without airplanes.
Maybe you should have gone to Tennessee instead of Alabama, GW. After all, it is the VOLUNTEER State.

BUSH: We agree our veterans deserve the full support of the United States government.
MADMAN: Of course that only counts in election years and when polls come out. In fact, it was the Bush administration whose disgust for our troops - the future veterans - let them go into battle without the things they need to fight a modern war. They went into Iraq and Afghanistan without military staple such as body armor and armored Humvees causing the deaths of countless troops who might have survived with these things.

BUSH: We agree that a troop coming out of Iraq or Afghanistan deserves the best health care not only as an active duty citizen, but as a military guy, but also as a veteran -- and you're going to get the best health care we can possibly provide.
MADMAN: Of course, that doesn't apply to their families who have to fend for themselves while their future-veteran spouses are serving "over there". But I question the President here, too. If "the market" is good place for our children to "compete" for health care coverage, then why are our veterans going to be supplied health care at all? Perhaps we should begin drafting young, poor children into our armed services. That way, at least they'll have health care when President Bush vetoes the Child health Care bill.

BUSH: The enemy who attacked us despises freedom, and harbors resentment at the slights he believes America and Western nations have inflicted on his people. He fights to establish his rule over an entire region. And over time, he turns to a strategy of suicide attacks destined to create so much carnage that the American people will tire of the violence and give up the fight.
If this story sounds familiar, it is -- except for one thing. The enemy I have just described is not al Qaeda, and the attack is not 9/11, and the empire is not the radical caliphate envisioned by Osama bin Laden. Instead, what I've described is the war machine of Imperial Japan in the 1940s, its surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, and its attempt to impose its empire throughout East Asia.
MADMAN: Iraq as 1940's Japan? C'mon George - that's a stretch even for you.

Note on Bush's comparison of Iraq to Viet Nam:
In describing the Viet Nam war, President Bush decided to take the tact that Viet Nam would have been better if we stayed there. His argument is that directly after the American troops left, there was chaos, killings and mass murders of American collaborators (a.k.a. allies). He chose (or someone chose for him) to use the aftermath of Viet Nam and the Kmer Rouge - the Communists who took over both North and South Viet Nam and the surrounding areas - as a comparison to what life would be like in Iraq if we would leave today. Additionally, he would blame, in advance, anyone who thinks that Iraq could survive without US help. As President bush might sat himself, if he were a critic of his own words, "In other words", this war is, and will be, on going for generations because the people of Iraq can't be trusted, by our definition, to govern themselves (the way we want them to govern), thus creating the need for our troops to stay there permanently in the manner in which they stay there today.

BUSH: The world would learn just how costly these misimpressions would be. In Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge began a murderous rule in which hundreds of thousands of Cambodians died by starvation and torture and execution. In Vietnam, former allies of the United States and government workers and intellectuals and businessmen were sent off to prison camps, where tens of thousands perished. Hundreds of thousands more fled the country on rickety boats, many of them going to their graves in the South China Sea.
Three decades later, there is a legitimate debate about how we got into the Vietnam War and how we left.
MADMAN: Had we left Viet Nam earlier, perhaps some of the 58,000 American lives that were lost there might have been saved. Viet Nam was never a war meant to be won; it was a war meant to keep the status quo. Each one of the presidents who sent men there sent them there to die and without a clear mission. The loss of lives of many Vietnamese after the war was tragic, but there was nothing we could have done about that because it was a lost war from the beginning. In fact, one might argue, that many lost their lives simply because they sided with the Americans rather than those who would eventually take over.
So if the only lesson that President Bush took away from the Viet Nam war is one that would have kept us there forever, one has to seriously question his judgment on any decision this "Decider" has made and will make in the days to come.

-Noah Greenberg

The Life-Sucking Surge

Here are some statistics that should disturb Americans. The casualties have gone up since the so called surge:

June-July-August 2003: 113 Americans killed
June-July-August 2004: 162 Americans killed
June-July-August 2005: 217 Americans killed
June-July-August 2006: 169 Americans killed
June-July-August 2007: 229 Americans killed (August not over yet)

-From http://www3.brookings.edu/fp/saban/iraq/index.pdf

-Robert Scardapane

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-Noah Greenberg