Thursday, August 24, 2006

Bush's field theory of fear

(Sidney Blumenthal) On 14 August 2006, the day the ceasefire was imposed ending Israel's war in Lebanon against Hizbollah, and just days after police in London arrested a group of people in connection with an alleged plot to blow up transatlantic airliners, President Bush strode to the podium at the state department to describe global conflict in neater and tidier terms than any convoluted conspiracy theory.

Almost in one breath he explained that events "from Baghdad to Beirut", and Afghanistan, and London, are linked in "a broader struggle between freedom and terror"; that far-flung terrorism is "no coincidence", caused by "a lack of freedom" – "We saw the consequences on September the 11th, 2001" – and that all these emanations are being combatted by his administration's "forward strategy of freedom in the broader middle east", and that "that strategy has helped bring hope to millions."
"No Bush administration official has suffered more collateral damage from the Lebanon war than Rice. Her flights to and fro have exposed her as vacillating and reckless, fretful and compliant, opportunistic but myopic, and in every guise ineffective. She wound up as the cheerleader on the rubble."
"Afterward, as the Israelis tore at one another, Bush proclaimed victory, following his Iraq public-relations formula. While his phrases might be a tonic to his political base, the rest of the world, especially now the Israelis, receive it as the empty rhetoric it is. The more Bush declares success when there is failure, the more US credibility is tattered."
"The week before, while the Lebanon war was still raging, Bush invited Reuters correspondent Steve Holland to join him on an hour-and-a-half bicycle ride in 100-degree heat........ "Bush does not ride quietly, constantly shouting out in his Texas twang the names of trees and geographic features and yelling at himself to pedal faster", Holland wrote. As Bush rode up a hill, leading an entourage of sweating secret-service agents and the reporter, he shouted to no one in particular: "Air assault!""
(The guy has clearly 'lost it')

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