The Cheerleader at Annapolis



It’s pathetic to see the world’s most powerful man, shunted into prearranged venues so he can pitch his snake-oil to college aged boys. That said, Bush’s appearance today at the Naval Academy has got to be a new low for the White House public relations team. Apparently the only people buying the huckster-in-chief’s bedraggled vision of a democratic Iraq are rosy-cheeked young men who dream of battlefields instead of girlfriends.

Is this the last place Bush can count on a round of applause without body-scanning everyone who enters the door?

“Setting an artificial deadline to withdraw would vindicate the terrorist tactics of beheadings and suicide bombings and mass murder and invite new attacks on America,” Bush boomed.

Bush loves the applause. He luxuriates in the warm glow of human affection. In many ways he is the consummate politician feeding his fragile ego with the ephemeral praise of complete strangers. Too bad, his only springboard to fame has been as bullhorn for right-wing fanatics and war-mongers. Now, he finds himself toddling on a narrower and narrower ledge, peering down into the abyss of defeat and disgrace.

“To all who wear the uniform, I make you this pledge: America will not run in the face of car bombers and assassins so long as I am your commander-in-chief.”

Who could have dreamed that events would overtake Bush so quickly? A hawkish congressman takes the floor of the House and whispers “Withdrawal” and suddenly the whole neocon master-plan begins to unravel like a ball-o-yarn skittering across the kitchen floor.

The Bush team knows they’re losing ground; and fast. That’s why they dispatched poor Rummy to 4 TV talk shows on one morning alone. That must be some kind of record. Rumsfeld was reduced to rehashing the same lame gibberish the administration has been slinging for years, only this time, no one is buying. The air is hissssing out of the tire; the momentum has shifted. The country is tired of Bush, tired of war, and tired of Iraq.

Bush-fatigue has set in like an oily pall hanging over the nation.

“At this time last year there were only a handful of Iraqi battalion’s ready for combat,” Bush thundered. “Now, there are over 120 Iraqi Army and police combat battalions in the fight against the terrorists, typically comprised of between 350 and 800 Iraqi forces. Of these about 80 Iraqi battalions are fighting side-by-side with coalition forces, and about 40 others are taking the lead in the fight.”

Lies, lies, and more lies. Mountains of lies; oceans of lies; an entire constellation of lies where every twinkling point of light is just another fraud issued from the raspy larynx of the master of mendacity, George W. Bush.”

This is Bush’s “Victory Strategy”; stacking one deception on top of another like cord-wood and hoping the wary public will believe it; hoping they’ll approve another zillion dollars for earth-poisoning ordinance; hoping they’ll send another 2,000 sons and daughters into the Iraqi meat-grinder; hoping they’ll sign off on the genocidal attack on Iraqi civilians.

Bush “war-whoop” has lost its resonance; its allure. The bubble-president has become a shadow of his former self; a tattered coat on a stick. Perhaps, he doesn’t know that the battle is lost.

All around him a palpable sense of desperation is setting in. Cheney and Rove are already manning the bunkers for next tsunami of bad news. Still, Bush is sent on his fool’s errand; trying to appear popular in the last remaining bastion, where support is reflexive and perfunctory.

The war in Iraq is lost. John Murtha said it best:

“Oil production and energy production are below pre-war levels. Our reconstruction efforts have been crippled by the security situation. Only $9 billion of the $18 billion appropriated for reconstruction has been spent. Unemployment remains at about 60 percent. Clean water is scarce. Only $500 million of the $2.2 billion appropriated for water projects has been spent. And most importantly, insurgent incidents have increased from about 150 per week to over 700 in the last year. Instead of attacks going down over time and with the addition of more troops, attacks have grown dramatically. Since the revelations at Abu Ghraib, American casualties have doubled. An annual State Department report in 2004 indicated a sharp increase in global terrorism.”

Iraq is over; we lost. Someone had better tell Bush.

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He can be reached at: fergiewhitney@msn.com


MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.

October 06, 2015
Vijay Prashad
Afghanistan, the Terrible War: Money for Nothing
Mike Whitney
How Putin will Win in Syria
Paul Street
Yes, There is an Imperialist Ruling Class
Paul Craig Roberts
American Vice
W. T. Whitney
Why is the US Government Persecuting IFCO/Pastors for Peace Humanitarian Organization?
Kathy Kelly
Bombing Hospitals: 22 People Killed by US Airstrike on Doctors Without Borders Hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan
Murray Dobbin
Rise Up, Precariat! Cheap Labour is Over
Ron Jacobs
Patti Smith and the Beauty of Memory
David Macaray
Coal Executive Finally Brought Up on Criminal Charges
Norman Pollack
Cold War Rhetoric: The Kept Intelligentsia
Cecil Brown
The Firing This Time: School Shootings and James Baldwin’s Final Message
Roger Annis
The Canadian Election and the Global Climate Crisis
Jesse Jackson
Alabama’s New Jim Crow Far From Subtle
Joe Ramsey
After Umpqua: Does America Have a Gun Problem….or a Dying Capitalist Empire Problem?
October 05, 2015
Michael Hudson
Parasites in the Body Economic: the Disasters of Neoliberalism
Patrick Cockburn
Why We Should Welcome Russia’s Entry Into Syrian War
Kristine Mattis
GMO Propaganda and the Sociology of Science
Heidi Morrison
Well-Intentioned Islamophobia
Ralph Nader
Monsanto and Its Promoters vs. Freedom of Information
Arturo Desimone
Retro-Colonialism: the Exportation of Austerity as War By Other Means
Robert M. Nelson
Noted Argentine Chemist Warns of Climate Disaster
Matt Peppe
Misrepresentation of the Colombian Conflict
Barbara Dorris
Pope Sympathizes More with Bishops, Less with Victims
Clancy Sigal
I’m Not a Scientologist, But I Wish TV Shrinks Would Just Shut Up
Chris Zinda
Get Outta’ Dodge: the State of the Constitution Down in Dixie
Eileen Applebaum
Family and Medical Leave Insurance, Not Tax Credits, Will Help Families
Pierre-Damien Mvuyekure
“Boxing on Paper” for the Nation of Islam, Black Nationalism, and the Black Athlete: a Review of “The Complete Muhammad Ali” by Ishmael Reed
Lawrence Ware
Michael Vick and the Hypocrisy of NFL Fans
Gary Corseri - Charles Orloski
Poets’ Talk: Pope Francis, Masilo, Marc Beaudin, et. al.
Weekend Edition
October 2-4, 2015
Henry Giroux
Murder, USA: Why Politicians Have Blood on Their Hands
Mike Whitney
Putin’s Lightning War in Syria
Jennifer Loewenstein
Heading Toward a Collision: Syria, Saudi Arabia and Regional Proxy Wars
John Pilger
Wikileaks vs. the Empire: the Revolutionary Act of Telling the Truth
Gary Leupp
A Useful Prep-Sheet on Syria for Media Propagandists
Jeffrey St. Clair
Pesticides, Neoliberalism and the Politics of Acceptable Death
Joshua Frank
The Need to Oppose All Foreign Intervention in Syria
Lawrence Ware – Paul Buhle
Insurrectional Black Power: CLR James on Race and Class
Oliver Tickell
Jeremy Corbyn’s Heroic Refusal to be a Nuclear Mass Murderer
Helen Yaffe
Che’s Economist: Remembering Jorge Risquet
Mark Hand
‘Rape Rooms’: How West Virginia Women Paid Off Coal Company Debts
Michael Welton
Junior Partner of Empire: Why Canada’s Foreign Policy Isn’t What You Think
Yves Engler
War Crimes in the Dark: Inside Canada’s Special Forces
Arno J. Mayer
Israel: the Wages of Hubris and Violence
W. T. Whitney
Cuban Government Describes Devastating Effects of U. S. Economic Blockade
Brian Cloughley
The US-NATO Alliance Destroyed Libya, Where Next?