Thursday, December 08, 2005

I'm The Commander In Chief. Hey, Come Back Here

Ok, so we admit we were always at the tail end of the draft when it came to choosing up sides for a pickup game back in the day. And yes, those experiences hung with us, leading to inappropriate fashion choices, an inordinate affection for Science Fiction and a lack of awareness of the non-verbal messages we were sending by fixing our eye glasses with tape.

About the only thing that kept us coming out of the house in those years was the fact that even though we got picked late, we still beat Henry Botando, who, on top of all his other faults, had curly red hair.

We tell you this by way of providing some context to why we think we are about to invade Syria, or Iran, or Fiji, or Venezuela, or any dang place where we can kick some butt.

It's about yesterday when the president came before the Council on Foreign Relations to give a talk about our successes in Iraq. Both of them.

President Bush acknowledged that the multibillion-dollar reconstruction of Iraq has "been uneven" and hobbled by corruption, misplaced priorities and insurgent attacks. "But that aside, we've almost restored the power to Baghdad. Just give us another year or so."

"By learning from its mistakes," Bush said,
"the administration has...wait. We made mistakes? Why hasn't Dick told me about this?"

After sticking mainly to friendly military settings Bush chose a more skeptical audience in addressing the Council on Foreign Relations, a nonpartisan organization of diplomats, academics and journalists. "Don't worry, "said White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan. "The aide who set that up has already been fired."

Only a few hundred members showed up for the speech and empty chairs were removed from the back of the room before Bush arrived. "The president is beginning to get the idea that Iraq isn't going well, but he still thinks he's popular," said an aide who asked not to be named. "We were afraid the empty chairs and having to admit to problems in Iraq might be too much for him."

The audience interrupted Bush for applause only once during the speech and even then, many, if not most, did not clap. There was polite applause when he finished. "Yeah. We had to threaten some of those guys with a visit from the Vice President," said the aide.

Without ever using the words "mistake" or "error," Bush said the administration miscalculated by clearing insurgents out of a city and then moving onto another assignment, only to allow enemy forces to retake control. "We told them we were liberators," the president said. "They told us if we'd let them back in they'd organize a parade. In retrospect we determined they weren't telling the truth."

"That kind of proximity to reality will cause his bubble to burst," said Richard N. Haass, a former Bush State Department official. "Somebody will pay for this."

And hence, operation Restore Manliness. Are you listening, Bashar al-Assad?

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