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Tue

15

May

2007

Of Aircraft Carriers, Chickenhawks and Bully Pulpits
Tuesday, 15 May 2007 11:28
by Frank Pitz
On May 2, 2003, the little emperor, George W. Bush made a “tailhook” landing aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln while it was anchored off the shore of San Diego. George was sitting in the co-pilot’s seat – befitting of his back seat stature – as the Navy S-3B Viking made a couple of fly-bys before touching down.

The former AWOL National Guard wanna-be pilot enplaned and strode across the deck outfitted in a spanking brand new flight suit with exaggerated codpiece and the requisite flight helmet under arm. This contrived bit of propaganda would, of course, eventually become the infamous “Mission Accomplished” albatross chained around Bush’s neck, which remains there to this day.

George, strutted and blustered about the deck of the ship that had been positioned “strategically” so that no errant camera shots might catch the San Diego skyline in the background. The finely choreographed event was meant to appear as if the little emperor was on the deck of a ship far out at sea rather than a short trip away from its berth. It worked, most of the country bought it and jingoism ruled the day. Flags and tacky magnets popped up on cars all over the country as Bush declared victory.

The little emperor also made a statement that day – which I am certain he would love to take back now, four years and 3,395 US deaths later – “…American’s following a battle want nothing more than to return home.” Yes, George, Americans want nothing more than to return home. American citizens, by an overwhelming majority want nothing more than to see their loved ones home; just how many more will you condemn to coming home in flag-draped coffins or with shattered body and psyche? How many more, George?

In another announcement made that day by Bush, he said; “Our war against terror is proceeding according to principles that I have made clear to all.” Mr. Bush, four years later, even your Republican stalwarts are completely mystified as to just what those “principles” are? Also, those Iraqis, who are part of that Arab world, which, you referenced sort of second handedly: “And anyone in the world, including the Arab world who works and sacrifices for freedom has a loyal friend in the United states of America.”

George, between your father, Clinton and yourself – from sanctions to invasion to genocide – that part of the “Arab world” known as Iraq has suffered and sacrificed, much more than any people should be asked to; when will you follow up on your “loyal friend” bullshit, George? The draconian policies of the United States – which you uphold with a vengeance, all the while being blessed by AIPAC – are responsible for the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians by Israel. The Palestinians are also part of that “Arab world” George; when will you follow up on your “loyal friend” rhetoric for them, or is it just that part of the Arab world inhabited by the likes of Prince Bandahar that the United States classifies as “loyal friend?” Never mind, we all know the answer.

Now, some four years, damn near to the day, our erstwhile Vice-President lands on another aircraft carrier, this one in the Persian Gulf. Rather than a flight suit, Cheney was casual, sans tie and carrying his jacket on his arm rather than a helmet. As George used the USS Abraham Lincoln for a bully pulpit to declare “mission accomplished,” Cheney used the floating weapon of mass destruction to snarl threats against another part of that “Arab world” known as Iran; perhaps our next mission to accomplish. Cheney the pit bull, snarled and then intoned as to how, “We’ll stand with others to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons and dominating this region.” Translation: “We’re the dominator here in this region and we’ll blow you to hell and back to prove it.” You gotta just love the whole Wild West aspect, don’t you?

These guys in this administration – not unlike most tinhorn despots – have such a flair for the dramatic. One supposes it’s because the first rule of effective propaganda and the politics of fear, is the successful grandstand; or, backdrop if you will. Obviously for a couple of draft dodgers who have never tasted the bitter fruit of battle, aircraft carriers make for the largest grandstand there is; talk about penis envy.

Not to be outdone, our ineffectual members of Congress do their own bit of showboating as well, speechifying - without substance – about troop withdrawals and the like; of course, it is nothing more than rhetoric. The newest/oldest phrase de rigueur is the interminable variation on the theme of the “Iraqis stepping up.” Some of the more strident members of Congress keep repeating the mantra – in one form or another – of the Iraqis “taking responsibility for their country.” Now, that is the one that gets me, as well, no doubt, many of those self-same Iraqis. I mean, like, the little emperor – along with those very same members of Congress – went into Iraq like the proverbial “bull in a china shop” and broke hell out of things, now the Iraqis are supposed to clean the shit up.

We looted their treasury, we took (and are still taking) their oil, we destroyed their infrastructure and callously murdered their people and we want them to step up to the plate? For crying out loud, there’s no plate to step up to! Bush, Cheney, Halliburton and assorted and sundry mercenaries have seen to that. Just what in the hell do these wusses in Congress want the Iraqi to do, colonize themselves? Never mind, we all know the answer.
 
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