Thursday, August 23, 2007

Bush: "I am a Weimar propagandist"


Above: "How do I suggest that a majority of Americans are traitorous America-haters in a single-panel cartoon?"

Our glorious Decider has decided to speak for the troops, and further decided that the troops share his vision of his political enemies as traitors who want to stab them in the back:
"Our troops are seeing this progress on the ground. And as they take the initiative from the enemy, they have a question: Will their elected leaders in Washington pull the rug out from under them just as they are gaining momentum and changing the dynamic on the ground in Iraq?"
And that is different from the Dolchstosslegende how, exactly?

I mean yeah, one involves sharp cutlery and the other involves people with a distaste for carpeting, but the cut of Bush's gib is unmistakable: "We lost Vietnam because traitors in our midst stabbed the troops in the back before they could finish the job (ed.: with what, nukes? who knows how he thinks Vietnam was going to be 'won'), and we can only lose Iraq if the traitors make us leave."

Sully's reader gets it exactly right: Bush and his followers have already given up on Iraq, and are just going through the motions of setting up their excuses for future political use. Realizing that they screwed up their own war, they now need some scapegoats so they can score some points about who "lost Iraq" for the next fifty years. They've been feeding this revisionist garbage about losing the winnable Vietnam War down America's throat for decades, but that usually came from movies like Rambo, not out of the President's mouth. Not anymore.

Here's Sully again to nail it down:
You might think that, in wartime, a president would acknowledge what no one denies is a terribly grim decision in front of us - whether to pursue a clearly unwinnable war in order to govern a clearly ungovernable country - or withdraw and redeploy in ways that will doubtless lead to even more bloodshed. But no. There is no gray here; no awful decision for the least worst option; not acknowledgment of his own moral culpability for such a disaster. There is instead an accusation that those who reach a different judgment about the course of the war are, in fact, enemies of the troops. . . .

To place all the troops into the position of favoring one strategy ahead of us rather than another, and to accuse political opponents of trying to "pull the rug out from under them," is a, yes, fascistic tactic designed to corral political debate into only one possible patriotic course. It's beneath a president to adopt this role, beneath him to coopt the armed services for partisan purposes.
On a related topic, Bill Kristol is a vile creature unsuitable for polite company.

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