Saturday, December 6, 2008

At last, the reason for W’s doggedness (or at least it should be)

President Bush, Dear Gentle Reader(s), has been making the rounds lately giving speeches and “exit interviews.”  A salient point made by many who opine on the content of these outings has been his nimble footwork in avoiding any semblance of responsibility, or irresponsibility, for the Iraqi invasion of 2003.

One might wonder at the president’s steadfastness in his own defense; an answer might be found in the psychological depths of a video which has just come to this writer’s attention.  It can be found at Andrew Sullivan’s The Daily Dish.  It’s titled “The GOP’s ‘Yes We Can.’”  It was made during the recent presidential campaign, although it wasn’t widely distributed.

In it a young man who states he is an Iraqi veteran takes issue with Mr. Obama’s use of the word “mistake” when referring to the invasion and subsequent occupation.

Basically the speaker holds that there was no mistake made because the Iraqi people are better off now than they were pre-invasion.  The Iraqis are regular folks who want the same things as American citizens, so it was not a mistake to take steps to give them the qualities of life enjoyed by other people.  The dead and the wounded were not victims of a mistake.

It’s powerful, if not cynically exploitive.

The narrator cannot deal with his dead buddies and war injuries having been the product of a mistake.  His personal stake in the war and its aftermath and its costs is so great that he must believe there was no mistake.

And that “personal stake” which is held by so many veterans and families of veterans is probably the single most substantive reason Mr. Bush cannot, will not, and for the sake of his political devotees should not admit to a mistake.  He cannot ever say he and his Administration made a mistake which cost so very much in blood and treasure.

While others might comment on his misadventure, Mr. Bush can do no less than put up a brave front.  Just as in the face of such testimonials those who opposed and oppose still the revisionist rationale for this war can do no less than to point out the fact that this war had no basis.  It was a mistake of the most heinous proportions.

Trust, but verify.

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