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 January, 2007


 George Bush announces troop surge

A New George Bush for America

By Al Owens
He’s at it again folks! George W. Bush went on national television on Wednesday night to remind the American people that his war is more important than the one between Donald and Rosie.

I’m sure by now there are millions of people who’d beg to differ, but the American public doesn’t really hold much sway in the White House these days.

Those of us who bothered to watch got a chance to see a new president. No more oval office desks for this commander-in-chief. He now uses books in the White House library as his props. There was no smirk either. He’s got a somber look about his face.

He’s also left his soaring rhetoric behind. No more talk about the Democrats wanting to “cut and run”. He’s even abandoned any bold analysis of the role of the “Coalition of the Willing”. I guess there’s no use mentioning those 12 brave troops from Moldova anymore.

He’s a new man, with a new plan. Send more troops to Iraq. (21,500 of them starting to head that way by Thursday) But not before he gave that thoughtful speech on Wednesday night.

“The situation in Iraq is unacceptable to the American people -- and it is unacceptable to me.” Yeah, but it’s unacceptable for different reasons. It’s unacceptable to the American people because they don’t think the president is listening to them. It’s unacceptable to the president, because he apparently seems to think the American people are to dumb to get it (whatever it is).

“Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me.” I’ve got to hand it to the president. He’s found a way to use the word mistakes without having to say he made them. He’s even claiming he’ll take responsibility for those people (not himself) who made those mistakes.

“Our troops will have a well-defined mission: to help Iraqis clear and secure neighborhoods, to help them protect the local population…” So now the commander-in-chief has really become a police chief. His explanation of the new role of those new troops will be that of cops on the beat in Baghdad. When they clear out a troubled area of the city, they’ll change hats and put on badges to “protect and serve” Baghdadians?

“If the Iraqi government does not follow through on its promises, it will lose the support of the American people -- and it will lose the support of the Iraqi people.” The last time I looked, not only has the Iraqi government lost the support of the American people, but the American president has too. At least as it concerns the war in Iraq. He’s even losing the support of the U.S. military. According to a recent Military Times poll, only 35% of the military members polled last year said they approve of the way Bush is handling the war. And that’s much higher than the American public.

“We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We'll interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. I recently ordered the deployment of an additional carrier strike group to the region.” Sounds to me like he’s ready to open up a “new front on the war on terror”, while there are people all over congress (including members of his own political party) wondering how to get out of the old front.

“Victory will not look like the ones our fathers and grandfathers achieved. There will be no surrender ceremony on the deck of a battleship.” Oh my, oh my, oh my. Who wrote that? Find them and fire them. The stale image of this president standing on a ship, in a flight suit, brandishing applause lines about victory should have prevented that kind of rhetoric from somehow getting into any speech – because it’s a reminder of just how premature that victory celebration had been.

“Acting on the good advice of Senator Joe Lieberman and other key members of Congress, we will form a new, bipartisan working group that will help us come together across party lines to win the war on terror.” So President Bush is willing to listen to the Democrats? Somebody tell him Joe Lieberman is no longer a Democrat. He’s calling himself an Independent Democrat these days. I’ve never heard of that party. When Bush claims he’s going to reach “across party lines”, he’s found somebody who is as hawkish as himself.

On second thought, this is the same old George W. Bush. He just likes to stand in front of books!