Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The shade look, seriously

Today is Wednesday, 14 June 2006.

So W. Warlord Bush went to Baghdad to look into the eyes of the new Iraqi prime minister and take his measure. Recall when W. did that with former KGB thug Czar Vladimir Putin of Russia? W. liked what he saw.

I was waiting for W. to try to sound Churchillian: This is not the beginning of the end, but it is the end of the beginning.

I was put in mind of similar trips by LBJ and Nixon to Vietnam. They too returned with rosy projections: all we have to do is stay the course, do more of what hasn’t worked, and all will turn out well.

Meanwhile, in the House of Representatives a limited debate on Iraq is scheduled today. The Republican Majority Leader, in a strategy memo to House Republicans leaked to the press, calls on members to keep hitting the 9/ll-has-everything-to-do-with-Iraq theme, plus suggest the only alternatives are an increasingly ramped-up Global War on Terrorism or, the supposed Democratic preference, waiting for all the bad things to fade away on their own. (See entire memo at this date.)

I doubt there was ever a ruling class that didn’t try to dictate falsification of the terms of political debate. So long as most Americans not only have their heads in the sand, but in the wrong patch of sand altogether, the slaughter will continue. Your author sometimes regrets having spent a great deal of his life in the study of human history; every day comes to have aspects of Groundhog Day.


Rumsfeld has kicked what little press presence was in Gitmo out, according to this date. Journalists for the Miami Herald and Los Angeles Times received the following: "Media currently on the island will depart on Wednesday, 14 June 2006 at 10:00 a.m. Please be prepared to depart the CBQ [quarters] at 8:00 a.m." It seems Rummy expected them to confine themselves to military tribunal stories, but they filed on the recent suicides.


Karl Zinsmeister, W. Warlord’s new chief domestic policy adviser, is another Ivy League neocon piece of work. Editing the American Enterprise Institute’s magazine, he called Nelson Mandela a “feckless fool.” Enjoy the following from an article in yesterday’s Washington Post:

"In 2003, he mocked the BBC for asserting the United States "could take, bluntly, a couple to 3,000 casualties." Later that year, he wrote, "Not too far down the road, today's drumbeat about America's failure to bring instant recovery to Iraq may look quite rash."

A year later, he wrote a piece titled "How America Is Winning a Guerilla War." A year after that, he declared victory. "The War is Over, and We Won," announced a June 2005 piece. "With the exception of periodic flare-ups in isolated corners, our struggle in Iraq as warfare is over," he wrote. Although there will still be "egregious acts of terror," he said, "contrary to the impression given by most newspaper headlines, the United States has won the day in Iraq."


Couldn’t resist this:

“At a press conference this morning, President Bush needled Los Angeles Times reporter Peter Wallsten after he stood up to ask a question wearing sunglasses. “Are you going to ask that question with shades on?” Bush said, telling Wallsten, “I’m interested in the shade look, seriously.”

But as Wonkette first noted, and which ThinkProgress subsquently confirmed, Wallsten is legally blind.” ( this date)


Snowballs in Hell Dept.: Now that it seems Karl Rove can send the Gucci orange jumpsuit back, questions linger. Was there a deal? Has the pit bull become a rat? Who did he give up? Given that Karlo admits to leaking classified info, will his Master revoke his security clearances?


Today in History: 1940 - Auschwitz opened; 1964 – Nelson Mandela sentenced to life imprisonment; 1989 – Ronald Reagan knighted by Elizabeth II.


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