It was a speech to make both Lee and Hermann proud. I’m talking about the one America’s commander-in-chief gave with more spit than polish at Fort Bragg last Tuesday. His human props were silent throughout except when required to clap on cue. His demeanor was determinedly steadfast. His fixed half-smile was designed to inspire confidence.
And when it was over, there was the quivering lip and the flicker of a humbling downturn of the gaze. One can hardly imagine the amount of practicing in the mirror it must have taken to marry the right facial expressions with the host of emotions the speech was crafted to elicit among its audience. A touch of brillianceor was it?
In reality, it wasn’t so much a speech as an exercise in mind control, designed to pull the ‘right’ strings so as to keep the public on board the Iraq debacle, at a time when Americans are becoming ever more skeptical.
It clearly showed that the Bush camp is worried about increasing background chatter from not only Democrats but also GOP stalwarts: "Vietnam", "quagmire", "torture", "rising casualties", "terrorist breeding ground", "failure".
The public’s confusion has, further, been exacerbated by mixed messages from top administration figures. For instance, Cheney says the insurgency is in its last throes, while Rumsfeld subsequently maintained it is strengthening and becoming more entrenched, throwing out a ballpark timeframe of 12 years.
They must have known they were in trouble when ‘Mr. Freedom Fries’ Congressman Walter Jones altered his menu while Senators John McCain and Chuck Hagel seemed poised to run for the hills. A flurry of polls indicating Bush’s approval ratings on the down and down, and Fox News propagandists starting to sound faintly critical meant that something had to be doneand fast.
Wavering Bush supporters, concerned at the rising levels of violence in the Iraqi protectorate, a crimson-colored national debt, sky-high oil prices and burgeoning anti-Americanism, hoped their president would come clean at Fort Bragg. They wanted him to be truthful over the situation on the ground. They wanted to understand the prognosis for success. But most of all, they wanted to know that there was a plan in place.
So out walks beloved leader, either smirking or smiling, depending on your affinities. He opens his mouth. We wait with baited breath. Will he produce a much needed rabbit out of his virtual hat? Will he profess a magic formula, one which can quell the insurgency? If not, is there some kind of exit plan or timetable for bringing the troops home?
The clappy-happy types wait in optimistic anticipation. The stern-faced Straussians look for a slick, convincing performance, one that would get them to the doors of Tehran and Damascus. The naïve want confirmation that their country’s top echelons represent a force for good.
The formulated paragraphs trip off his tongue. His mouth opens and closes but all that emerges is a repetition of the now debunked message:
"After September the 11th, I made a commitment to the American people: This nation will not wait to be attacked again. We will defend our freedom. We will take the fight to the enemy. Iraq is the latest battlefield in this war." Ten-out-of-ten for chutzpah. No marks for originality.
In all, the linkage between Iraq and September 11 was made five times during that speech, which represented nothing less than yet another brazen attempt at playing the politics of fear, revenge and faux patriotism. It was simply tried and true psychological drip-drip piss; indoctrination at its most blatant.
Apart from Bush diehards and the nation’s most moronic, the world and its wife know that both the Iraqi people and their former dictatorship had nothing whatsoever to do with 9-11.
Moreover, they now realize that prior to the US-led invasion in March 2003, Iraq possessed neither home-grown ‘terrorists’, nor foreign fighters, which are now attracted to it in the same way that mosquitoes are to a swamp. They are also aware that the war has been deemed "illegal" and it was fought under a host of false-pretexts.
Informed Americans go along with the analysis of Gen.Wesley Clarke, who believes Iraq is now a breeding ground for terrorists due to the presence of US troops. In other words, the US chicken-hawks arrived before the terrorist egg.
Former senior adviser to Baghdad’s former Coalition Provisional Authority Larry Diamond has reached a similar conclusion. In is book "Squandered Victory" he accuses the Bush brigade of "gross negligence", which has led to "a bloody and unrelenting insurgency, a new breeding ground for terrorists and the metastasizing of ethnic and religion tensions."
Sharing the sentiments of Clarke and Diamond is former US national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, who recently said: "This war has been conducted with tactical and strategic incompetence," adding, "America is now less secure and Iraq has been turned into the world’s most effective terrorist training camp."
Gen. John Abizaid, in charge of America’s forces in the Mid-East, has appealed for Americans to support the troops in theatre, saying, "We don’t need to fight this war, looking over our shoulder and worrying about support back home."
This concern Mr. Bush was quick to address using sickening rhetoric designed to manipulate the genuine respect the public has for its courageous military doing its best on a foreign field that is forever America.
"In this time of testing, our troops can know: the American people are behind you.this 4th of July, I ask you to find a way to thank the men and women defending our freedom, by flying the flag, sending letters to our troops in the field or helping the military family down the street"
The hope here is that Americans with tears in their eyes will once again get out the flag pins, unfurl their now sacrosanct red, white and blue standards, tie yellow ribbons around the nearest lamp-post and dispatch parcels of Mars Bars and ‘I love you’ furry toys to Baghdad.
After all, Mr. Bush is a self-styled ‘War President’ and the nation is at war. People at war give their leaders carte blanche and rally behind them. People at war don’t generally talk about impeachment. People at war can be manipulated.
And all this time we thought that on July 28, 2004 Iraq had been handed-back its sovereignty. And all this time we thought that Iraqis with purple fingers risked their lives last January to elect a new democrat government. And all this time, as we were told by the president himself from the deck of carrier, the mission had been accomplished.
The problem here folks is the mission, the real mission, is far from being accomplished. The mission is not, and has never been the invasion of Iraq, which represents a mere stepping stone in the grand scheme of things.
What is the mission?
When the Soviet Union fell, America’s military-industrial-intelligence complex needed a new enemy for its very survival. That enemy became Islamic extremism, which was clearly delineated post September 11, while the faces of that enemy became a bearded millionaire troglodyte, a one-eyed ton-up boy mullah, an Egyptian doctor turned terrorist master-mind, along with a lap-dancing loving, vodka-swigging ‘Moslem’ fanatic.
The 1992 Wolfowitz doctrine sets out the principle and part of the methodology, which was later refined by that same Struass-con individual and his influential friends, members of a think tank titled "The Project for a New American Century" They said the implementation of their strategy required a new Pearl Harbor. Wonder of wonders! They got it.
Those people now run America and their aim is to ensure the US remains the sole superpower by controlling the world’s natural resources especially oil along with the seas, the skies and even space.
As regards the real mission, much has been achieved. The US now has military bases throughout the Caspian, the Mid-East, the Arabian Gulf and the Sub-continent. The irritating flea on their backs Saddam Hussein has been conveniently removed from Iraq and a puppet government installed. The largest and most fortified US embassy in the world is being constructed in Baghdad along with several large permanent bases.
So far so good! Syria and Iran are also due for regime change but here the schedule begins to look shaky. Syria has withdrawn from Lebanon, which removed that pretext for war, and Iran is playing kissy-facey with the Europeans, the Russians and the Chinese.
Even more troubling for the gang on Pennsylvania Avenue is the growing insurgency in Iraq, the increasingly high casualty rate of US military and the depletion of treasury coffers, originally destined to be refilled out of Iraqi oil revenues. Worse, the public and the formerly supine mainstream media are beginning to think out of the box.
The neo-cons’ mentor, Chicago professor Leo Strauss was a believer of ‘the end validating the means’. As far as he was concerned, if a satisfactory end meant politicians having to tell lies to the masses then so be it. And, boy, how they’ve lied!
Worse, they are still lying as we can see clearly from the President’s disingenuous attempt to force back the tide of public opinion on Iraq.
"I thank those of you who’ve re-enlisted in an hour when your country needs you. And to those watching tonight who are considering a military career, there is no higher calling than service in our armed forces," said Bush with his eye on dwindling recruitment figures. And this from a man whose nearest proximity to a battlefield was a walk on armed with a plastic turkey.
My advice for what it’s worth is this. Dismiss the spiel, lock-up your youth and demand a day of reckoning for those who changed America from being an inspiration to the rest of the world on human rights and civil liberties to a disliked and feared global aggressor.
Stop those criminals in their tracks before the world is divided into H.G. Wells’ Eloi and the Morlocks the former, innocents, who live above ground being fatted up as fodder for their fat, white masters, the gross inhabitants of a cavernous underworld.
LINDA S. HEARD is a specialist writer on Mid-East affairs. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org