Monday, April 05, 2004

Life is Tough When You're Stupid

One would think that closing down a newspaper and creating massive demonstrations would be enough dumb decision making for one week. However, we are talking about the Bush administration. Now they want to arrest Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. The warrant was issued months ago but now is the perfect moment to go get him? Let's pour more gasoline on the fire. But wait, there's more. Now U.S. forces have surrounded Fallujah to root out the terrorists and stay the course. It is also platitude week at the White House. At any rate, all of these events indicate the beginning of the butt whipping that the U.S. has been headed for since the beginning of the occupation.

You Talkin' to Me?

The Bush White House is like the old Soviet Union. Trotsky was removed from Soviet history books when he fell out of favor. If the Bushies say or do something they later regret it disappears from the record. Read the latest Bush press conference quickly or it will be gone. Just in case you don't move quickly enough, here is a very telling portion. Make note of the incoherent speech, grammatical errors, cutesy nicknames with reporters, and crankiness from Bush and obsequiousness from the press. Also, his use of the word "will" is kind of spooky, don't you think?

"Let me ask you a couple of questions. Who is the AP person?

Q I am.


Q Sir, in regard to --

THE PRESIDENT: Who are you talking to?

Q Mr. President, in regard to the June 30th deadline, is there a chance that that would be moved back?

THE PRESIDENT: No, the intention is to make sure the deadline remains the same. I believe we can transfer authority by June 30th. We're working toward that day. We're, obviously, constantly in touch with Jerry Bremer on the transfer of sovereignty. The United Nations is over there now. The United Nations representative is there now to work on the -- on a -- on to whom we transfer sovereignty. I mean, in other words, it's one thing to decide to transfer. We're now in the process of deciding what the entity will look like to whom we will transfer sovereignty. But, no, the date remains firm.


Q Mr. President, are you concerned at all that events like we've seen over the last week in Iraq are going to make it tougher to meet that deadline, or increase pressure from the U.N. or anyone else?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think there's -- my judgment is, is that the closer we come to the deadline, the more likely it is people will challenge our will. In other words, it provides a convenient excuse to attack. In this particular incident, with Sadr, this is one person who is deciding that rather than allow democracy to flourish, he's going to exercise force. And we just can't let it stand. As I understand, the CPA today announced a warrant for his arrest. This is one person -- this is a person, and followers, who are trying to say, we don't want democracy -- as a matter of fact, we'll decide the course of democracy by the use of force. And that is the opposite of democracy. And it's -- that's why the CPA issued the statement they issued.

But, Stretch, I think throughout this period there's going to be tests. We were tested in Fallujah. And the desire for those who do not want there to be a free and democratic Iraq is to shake our will through acts of violence and terror. It's not only our will, it's the will of other coalition forces and it's the will of the Iraqi people. As you know, that many Iraqis have been targeted. As a matter of fact, the al Qaeda affiliate Zarqawi made it clear that part of the strategy was to turn Shia on Sunni by killing innocent Iraqis.

And we've got to stay the course, and we will stay the course. The message to the Iraqi citizens is, they don't have to fear that America will turn and run. And that's an important message for them to hear. If they think that we're not sincere about staying the course, many people will not continue to take a risk toward -- take the risk toward freedom and democracy.

Yes, Tamara.

Q Mr. President, can you tell us a little bit about your decision-making for the next ambassador to Iraq, and what you're looking for in the person who would represent the administration?

THE PRESIDENT: Good question. I am looking for somebody who can run a big embassy, somebody who understands the relationship between an embassy and the military. Because one of the things that's going to be very important for the next ambassador to Iraq -- this will be the person that takes Jerry Bremer's place -- will be the willingness and capability of working with a very strong -- a country in which there's a very strong U.S. military presence, as well as a coalition presence. This person is going to need to have enough experience to basically start an embassy from the ground up, and also be willing to transfer certain people and authorities from the CPA to the embassy itself. In other words, it's a very complex task that's going to require a skilled soul. And we're in the process of searching it out now.

Q Mr. President, can you just tell me -- the 9/11 Commission, the Chairman yesterday, Governor Kean, said a date had been set, I think, for your testimony and the Vice President's. Is that --

THE PRESIDENT: I would call it a meeting.

Q A meeting, I'm sorry.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you."

Is it any wonder that we depend on David Letterman and John Stewart to stand up to the White House?