This morning President Bush gave the last of his four speeches explaining the war in Iraq. So I listened and took notes, and gagged, all the time wishing he would please shut up. It was painful.
Today, he said, I want to talk about why we went into iraq, why we stayed in iraq, why we cannot leave iraq until victory is achieved. Then he proceded to spew out the same bullshit he’s been spewing for the past couple of years, cooked down into an impervious toxic soup.
September 11, September 11, and September 11, he said, taught us that we cannot depend on oceans and friendly neighbors to protect us. If we wait for threats to fully materialize, we will have waited too long.
We had to remove Saddam Hussein because he was a threat to our security, Bush said.
And how, pray tell, was he a threat to our security? He had had weapons of mass destruction, and he had used WMDs. (Yeah, in the distant past. )He had sponsored terrorists (but not al Qaeda), ordered planes patrolling the the no-fly zones to be shot down, he had declared the USA to be his enemy; he had refused to comply with more than a dozen UN resolutions (and this made him a threat to the United States …. how, exactly?).
He deceived international weapons inspectors (and some of those inspectors have some pretty choice words for you, too, toots), and denied them unconditional access for them to do their job (not exactly what Hans Blix was saying on the eve of the March 2003 invasion).
Get this: The Security Council gave him one final chance, Bush said. He refused to comply. Like the Security Council made the decision to invade? I don’t think so. The US did not choose war, the choice was Saddam Hussein’s. Yeah, right.
My decision to remove Saddam Hussein was the right decision, Bush said. Breathtaking.
Then he went on for awhile about how we’re trying to build a peaceful and propserous Iraq, but those nasty rejectionists, Saddamists, and terrorists just won’t cooperate. Same stuff as in the last three speeches.
He compared the democratization of Iraq to the democratization of Japan after World War II, a comparison that fails massively on several levels — I’ve been meaning to get around to blogging about that; maybe today or tomorrow. Then he defiled the hallowed name of Harry S Truman by speaking it with his chimp mouth. I gagged some more.
He reintroduced his favorite, and most maddening, straw man — Some say our presence in iraq has made us more vulnerable to terrorism. These people must believe that if we were not in Iraq the terrorists would be leaving us alone.
Never mind that no one in politics, media, or the blogosphere — surely no one with two brain cells to rub together — actually makes that argument. But Bush carried his straw man further, reminding us of every act al Qaeda has perpetrated since the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. And of September 11, several times.
Finally (finally!) he got around to sniping at those who — irresponsibly — claim that intelligence was manipulated, or that he had misled us into war. Those people saw the same intelligence I did, Bush LIED, and they authorized the invasion of Iraq. Those people changing their minds is just pure politics.
Wow. Lots of presidents have lied to the American people — most of ’em, actually, at one time or another — but I’m not aware of any other president who has been such a bare-assed, consistent liar even after he’s been caught lying.
The audience at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington DC applauded a few times and seemed friendly enough, but Bush didn’t take questions this time.
I’ll keep my eye out for a transcript.
Update: Transcript here. Don’t read on a full stomach.