Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Bush To Congress: 'Wash The Car, Will Ya?'

Yesterday Toronto's Globe and Mail ran a story by Tenile Bonoguore under the curious headline "Bush makes impassioned plea for war cash".

Your partially frozen scribbler, having seen untold reams of nonsense from the shrubbery during the past six years, performed a Visual Spoonerism and read it as

"Bush makes impassioned plea for Car Wash"

... which, when you think about it, makes just about as much sense as what he did say.
U.S. President George W. Bush issued an impassioned plea to Congress on Monday for emergency cash to boost efforts in the Middle East.

In an emotive speech, Mr. Bush said the consequences of failure in Iraq “would be death and destruction in Iraq” and in the United States.
And how would he know? He is most responsible for the death and destruction currently happening to Iraq and the United States, and he has rarely told us the truth about anything. We should believe him now?
“Congress needs to put partisanship on hold. Send me an emergency spending bill that I can sign that gives our troops the support they need and gives the commanders the tools they need to complete this mission,” Mr. Bush said.
Congress needs to stop listening whenever the self-made commander-in-chief tells them what to do.

And OOPS! Did you notice what else happened?
The call came on the same day that England distanced itself from Mr. Bush's “war on terror” mantra.

British International Development Secretary Hilary Benn rejected the phrase “war on terror” while speaking at the Centre for International Co-operation think tank in New York.
Chris Floyd has a good post on this aspect of the nonsense, which I do hope you will read. For our purposes here, sufficient to note Mr. Benn's reasoning:
“In the U.K., we do not use the phrase ‘war on terror' because we can't win by military means alone, and because this isn't us against one organized enemy with a clear identity and coherent set of objectives,” he said.

“What these (terrorist) groups want is to force their individual and narrow values on others, without dialogue, without debate, through violence. And by letting them feel part of something bigger, we give them strength.”
The contrast between this partially reasonable view of the situation and the view held by the White House is so stark that an establishment wire service can't help but mention it. As in:
But that is far removed from the picture Mr. Bush painted from the White House, where he referred to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and warned of dire consequences if Congress does not issue him a bigger war chest.
It's about time we took all this September 11 stuff seriously, isn't it? It's time for a real investigation, because finding out who did it is the only way we're ever gonna be safe. In addition, it's well past time for the so-called "dire consequences" that the president is always talking about.

The Guillotine Department is standing by. But in the meantime, we still have a problem.
Surrounded by families of veterans, Mr. Bush sought to set expectations for his meeting this Wednesday with congressional leaders of both parties.
Surrounded by pro-war families of pro-war veterans, no doubt: giving the silent and absolutely incorrect impression that these people represent the only type of veteran and the only type of family that can be found. We all know better, of course.

But that doesn't stop the bullying.
In particular, he sought to put pressure on Democratic lawmakers to fund the war without trying to limit or wind down the military mission.

“I understand Republicans and Democrats in Washington have differences over the best course in Iraq,” Mr. Bush said. “That's healthy. That's normal, and we should debate those differences. But our troops should not be caught in the middle.
But we know from years of experience that he doesn't want to debate anything at all. Not that any debate is really necessary.

This entire matter could be resolved quite simply. The troops wouldn't be caught in the middle of anything if they were back home.
“I'm looking forward to the meeting. I hope the Democratic leadership will drop its unreasonable demand for a precipitous withdrawal.”

Repeatedly referring to the troops in Iraq, Mr. Bush said the Democrats were passing “unacceptable bills” that put money into domestic programs instead of into the overseas war effort.

“We owe it to a future generation of Americans to help secure peace,” he said, adding that enemies “could just as easily come here to kill us.”
Right. Sure. Absolutely. Because peace as in absence of war would not be possible if the invaders as in hated occupying army would leave. Because it would be just as easy for Iraqis to come here and kill us here as it is for them to kill our soldiers there, in their own country, in their own neighborhoods!

Because ... What the heck does Bush think we are, total idiots? Well he'll be right if we don't notice this next bit:
Both the U.S. House and Senate have passed bills to fund the war and start drawing troops home. They are expected this to week to begin negotiating a final version to send to Mr. Bush.

He has pledged to veto it if it is not stripped of the provisions that he opposes.
And that's the dead giveaway right there. If he doesn't like anything about it, he will veto it -- even though he could simply nullify the clauses he doesn't like with a simple signing statement, and despite the fact that he needs the money right away ... or so he says!

It's like the guy goes into a bank and says to the mortgage officer, "Look, I need a ton of money and I need it so badly that if you don't let me dictate every single aspect of the mortgage agreement I am gonna walk out of here and never come back."

How believable is that? And how urgent is it, really? In my mind it ranks right up there with an impassioned plea to hose off the family car.