Bush Goes to the VFW
August 23, 2005
For some reason, George Bush found it easier to fly to Salt Lake City to discuss the war than to talk about it in a ditch outside of Crawford.
Of course, he was guaranteed a more sympathetic audience at the VFW National Convention than at Camp Casey.
And that’s all Bush ever seeks out: one sympathetic, pre-screened audience after another.
Next he’ll probably be talking to the annual meeting of Halliburton.
With his approval rating plummeting to 36 percent, he needed to go to the VFW to find enthusiastic supporters of his war.
He took the occasion to make easy plugs not only for the Patriot Act but for the constitutional amendment banning flag-burning.
After tossing that red meat into the crowd, Bush got down to business: justifying the ongoing Iraq War.
He put a smiley face on the infighting that has characterized the tardy effort to write a constitution. Predicting that this constitution “will be a landmark event in the history of Iraq and the history of the Middle East,” Bush boasted that “all of Iraq’s main ethnic and
religious groups are working together on this vital project.”
But even as he was saying this, the process of drafting the constitution had ground to a halt, and negotiators begged for another three days to iron out the problems. The Sunni minority, one of those ethnic groups Bush was referring to, “had been shut out of the negotiations for much of the past week,” The New York Times reported.
As he has since he launched the Iraq War, Bush lumped it together with September 11, and said, “We will accept nothing less than total victory” in the war on terror.
And he invoked the memories of the 1,864 U.S. soldiers who have died in Iraq to keep the war going: “We owe them something,” he said. “We will finish the task that they gave their lives for.”
But they gave their lives to protect the United States against a phantom threat that Bush conjured up.
And no amount of additional troops will bring “total victory” in Iraq.
Bush’s rationale, along with his macho rhetoric that we shouldn’t “lose our nerve,” will consign only more U.S. soldiers, and only more Iraqi civilians, to their deaths.