Published on Saturday, November 12, 2005 by CommonDreams.org
Answer to Bush’s Speech: It’s our Foreign Policy, Stupid
by Missy Comley Beattie
What do you do when your Administration is losing in the second half? You talk “terror.”
And what an opportunity for the President on Veterans Day. It was also the day after my nephew’s 22nd birthday. Marine Lance Cpl. Chase Comley wasn’t celebrating on Thursday though. He’s one of “those lost in our current struggle.” He died in Iraq on August 6, 2005. Maybe, that’s why I didn’t push “mute” as I usually do when Bush stumbles through a speech. I wanted to see how he’d honor my loved one. I was hoping the President might finally admit the big mistake, apologize to the country and say, “I’m gonna bring ‘em home.” Stupid me.
Instead, Mr. Bush, with awestruck and applauding-on-cue supporters, sitting behind him, tried to hit a three-pointer and restore some credibility to his Office. Stupid him.
"Terrorists are evil but not insane,” G.W. said.
"You’re both,” I yelled at the screen.
"The enemy seeks to end dissent in every form,” Bush orated.
"Seems this Administration has painted anyone who dissents from its position a traitor to Democracy,” I answered.
But when he said, “Radicals try to exploit young men and women,” I lost it.
"We're the exploiters, you miserable excuse for a human.” I shouted at him. “We’ve exploited people all over the globe. Why, that’s what you were doing in Latin American last week. Remember? But back to those young Arabs who are learning to hate us in their mosques—no, no, no. Let’s talk, instead, about how you’ve manipulated our young with your nationalistic rhetoric about evil doers, WMDs, Biblical references, like a coach before the big game in a huddle of prayer and then a whoop to win. And all those military recruiters out there, trying to make their quotas before the monthly buzzer sounds, are just more of your equipment to maneuver young men and women with promises of support when they return. If they return.”
Then, when Bush said something about a “strategy of replacing resentment with hope,” I wanted to gag.
"Looks to me like we’re replacing resentment with full-blown rage, and all those Iraqis you said would be presenting our team with flowers are, instead, mopping up the desert with us,” I shouted.
"By standing for hope and freedom, we make our freedom more secure.”
"Your speechwriters sure know how to tug at the strings,” I replied. “But, George, what about Abu Ghraib? Isn’t that a good example of just how much you stand down when it comes to hope and freedom. Way down. Even debasing the soul of our country. Seems to me you’re making a great jump-shot for torture, not hope and freedom, and that feigned drowning technique which someone recently defended as not really deadly sure doesn’t make me feel secure. Actually, George, our foreign policy is repressive and terrifies me. The World is watching, condemning our nation for violating human rights—something for which we’ve denounced others, and you continue to talk about freedom?”
The opining about something else with which I’m having difficulty is this: “It is irresponsible to rewrite the history of how the war began.”
At this point, I was on my feet and shaking my finger at the set, “Isn’t it irresponsible to begin a war that’s based on faulty intelligence, especially when you, Cheney, and Rummy had so much to gain financially. And, anyway, I’m having trouble remembering how this war began with all the reasons you’ve come up with since the invasion. I mean, one minute it was chemical and nuclear capability and then it was regime change and, then, well, was it because the twins didn’t like Uday and Qusay? Are you just trying to confuse us here?”
When Bush asserted, “The hatred of the radicals existed before Iraq,” I thought that was a little like stating the obvious and, thus, I had to scream at the television.
"This goes back to the foreign policy issue, George. Furthermore, don’t you think the hatred has grown since we bombed the hell out of a SECULAR nation that was in no way linked to the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11? Even you know that smart bombs aren’t appreciated. Haven’t you been able to figure out that the insurgency is growing because of the occupation?
After the speech, I sat there, shaking my head. I was hoping for a little humility. Instead, it was Bush-as-usual—cheerleading for his policies to rearrange the planet in accordance with the Project For a New American Century.
I should’ve pushed “mute.”