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What Are We Fighting For?
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August 29
Partial Transcript, Abrams Report, April 5, 2005

From March 2003

Well It's One, Two, Three, What Are We Fighting For? ...

President Bush is frustrated with the press corps, both in Washington and Iraq, for their coverage of his war. He was expecting more rah-rah.

But the questions and comments are not coming just from reporters. Various news accounts have quoted military leaders and retired military leaders who have raised some questions on how the war is unfolding.

This official declined to comment on remarks from the war's Army ground commander -- Lt. Gen. William Wallace -- who told The Washington Post in Friday's paper: "The enemy we're fighting is different from the one we'd war-gamed against."

But the official said the president and other senior officials at the White House have "some level of frustration with the press corps" for the skeptical and sometimes critical view of the battle plan. [John King, "White House: Bush Frustrated with Media Coverage of War," CNN, March 28, 2003]

Think about this: "Embedding" journalists with the troops was a good idea, which means we should examine it for ulterior motives. This administration is, I believe, the most secretive in American history. Shrub's got Nixon beat, and I can't think of anyone else who comes close. So why, in this one circumstance, is the Regime allowing journalists access to raw news?
 
I'm guessing that the "embedding" idea did not come from the professional soldiers at the Pentagon. The top brass began their careers during the Vietnam (or immediately post-Vietnam) era. They may say they approve, and they may even be warming up to the idea, for reasons I may discuss presently.
 
You know this "embedding" idea came from the Top. Yes, from Karl Rove himself.
 
The question is, why?
 
That belly-slithering reptile known as Bob Novak wrote a column awhile back that explains a lot.

A senior Bush official privately admits what his administration cannot declare publicly. The stagnant economy, a dagger aimed at the heart of George W. Bush's second term, will not immediately respond to the president's economic growth program. The economic engine will not be revived until the war against Saddam Hussein is launched and won.

Military victory is anticipated inside the Bush administration as the tonic that will prompt corporation officers and private investors to unleash the American economy's dormant power. Although it is impolitic to say so, the fact that the United States will be sitting on a new major oil supply will stimulate the domestic economy. That puts a high premium on quickly gaining control of Iraq's oil wells before they can be torched--a major uncertainty in an otherwise strictly scripted scenario.

''This is Texas poker, with the president putting everything on Iraq,'' a Republican senator (who thoroughly approves of this policy) told me. The extraordinary gamble by Bush leads to deepening apprehension by Republican politicians as they wait for the inevitable war. They consider the Democratic Party divided, drifting to the left and devoid of new ideas. Yet, Bush's re-election next year is threatened by two issues: the economy and the war on terrorism. Success on both is tied to war with Iraq. [Novak, "Playing Texas Poker, Bush Bets All on Iraq," The Chicago Sun-Times, March 6, 2003]

The Cakewalk War was supposed to be the magic bullet that would solve all of Shrub's problems. First, the war would stimulate the economy. Second, all that news coverage of joyous Iraqis dancing in the streets and thanking their American liberators would put Shrub's approval numbers right up to where they were after September 11! Win-win!

The Boy King is irritated that the Iraqis are not following the script and the media (some of 'em, anyway) are not covering his butt.

For the record, all past war presidents were criticized for the conduct of their wars. Lincoln was routinely crucified by the press in his day for Union bumbling (and there was a lot of that) during the Civil War. He fully expected to lose the election of 1864 until William Tecumseh Sherman (with the help of my illustrious great-great grandfather, 1st Sgt. Fielding King, 6th Missouri Infantry) took Atlanta in October, just in time. But Lincoln accepted criticism with grace, unlike the current White House occupant, which says a lot about character.

And the Point Is ...

Today an Iraqi suicide bomber killed five U.S. soldiers. The Iraqi lured the soldiers into his cab and then blew it up.

Is anyone going to tell the parents, spouses, children of those soldiers that they died to help Bush win re-election in 2004?

Copyright 2003, 2004 by Barbara O'Brien

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