Does anyone besides me find it telling that the keepers of the “Doomsday Clock” plan to move its minute hand forward this Wednesday for the second time during the Bush administration? (Note to Dubya: That would be Mickey’s “big hand.”)
For anyone unfamiliar with the clock, scientists who were spooked after working on The Manhattan Project created it back in 1947. Maintained by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, the clock is currently set at seven minutes to midnight, with midnight marking global catastrophe. The group said it was making the move based on worsening nuclear and climate threats.
I’m not saying that the Bushistas’ worldview is directly responsible for the move but when you have Veep Cheney declaring on Fox re: Iraq: “This is an existential conflict,” you’ve got to wonder about how much brain matter is involved in this government. (”Sergeant Sartre, Corporal Camus, incoming dangerous philosophies! Get the bunker brain busters!”)
In a press release from the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, its board stated the clock’s forward march was because of “growing concerns about a ‘Second Nuclear Age’ marked by grave threats, including: nuclear ambitions in Iran and North Korea, unsecured nuclear materials in Russia and elsewhere, (and) the continuing ‘launch-ready’ status of 2,000 of the 25,000 nuclear weapons held by the U.S. and Russia.”
The board also cited “escalating terrorism, and new pressure from climate change for expanded civilian nuclear power that could increase proliferation risks.” The press release called our present tense the most perilous period since Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Known and very popular cialis coupon which gives all the chance to receive a discount for a preparation which has to be available and exactly cialis coupons has been found in the distant room of this big house about which wood-grouses in the houses tell.
The last time the clock’s minute hand was prodded forward was in 2002, from nine to seven minutes. The reason? Little progress was made on global nuclear disarmament; the United States rejected a series of arms control treaties and announced its intentions to withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and terrorists sought to acquire nuclear weapons.
All is not lost, however. The clock has changed its position 17 times since its creation, both forward and backward. In 1991, after the U.S. and the Soviet Union signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treat, the clock was pushed back to seventeen minutes to midnight, it’s greatest distance from disaster so far.
(On the other hand, in 1953, after the U.S. and the Soviet Union tested thermonuclear devices within nine months of one another, the clock made it’s closest approach to annihilation: two minutes to midnight.)
But, surely, now that Bush has announced his new “escalation = victory” strategy for Iraq the clock will…uh.
Much has been made of Bush’s speech last week, outlining his “greatest hits” plan for Iraq. A lot of folks have spent a lot of time trying to explain his disconnect from reality, from history and from military stratigery in psychological terms. The one term overlooked, however, has been: “batshit crazy.”
Last Wednesday, sallow faced and communicating, via his eyes, in Morse code, the President was all over the place intellectually (if I dare use that word). It was like a foreign relations scatter blast of birdshot.
Among his most Brobdingnagian bromides:
“Failure in Iraq would be a disaster for the United States.” (Note: Because it hasn’t been thus far?)
“Our past efforts to secure Baghdad failed for two principal reasons: There were not enough Iraqi and American troops to secure neighborhoods that had been cleared of terrorists and insurgents. And there were too many restrictions on the troops we did have.” (Note: So go crazy, guys and gals. Just try not to get caught.)
“I’ve made it clear to the Prime Minister and Iraq’s other leaders that America’s commitment is not open-ended. If the Iraqi government does not follow through on its promises, it will lose the support of the American people — and it will lose the support of the Iraqi people.” (Note: Um, with two-thirds of Americans against the war and against the build-up and two-thirds of Iraqi citizens opposing the U.S. occupation and thinking it’s okay to kill American troops? What’s our threat, here? We’ll drop trow in the Iraqi’s general direction and shame them all? Flip ‘em the bird?)
“Succeeding in Iraq also requires defending its territorial integrity and stabilizing the region in the face of extremist challenges. This begins with addressing Iran and Syria. These two regimes are allowing terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq. Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops. We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We’ll interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq.” (Note: Another episode of NeoCons Gone Wild.)
“The challenge playing out across the broader Middle East is more than a military conflict. It is the decisive ideological struggle of our time. On one side are those who believe in freedom and moderation. On the other side are extremists who kill the innocent, and have declared their intention to destroy our way of life.” (Note: Is the latter any way to describe our domestic and foreign policies, George?)
“Victory will not look like the ones our fathers and grandfathers achieved. There will be no surrender ceremony on the deck of a battleship.” (Note: ‘Cause battleships tend not to function well in the middle of a desert.)
He ended with a rousing: “We go forward with trust that the Author of Liberty will guide us through these trying hours. Thank you and good night.” (Note: No “God bless us one and all” or “God bless America.” Me? I’m still trying to figure out who the author of Liberty is. Francis Scott Key? Kate Smith? Michael Moore?)
The next day, encountering a very tepid crowd at Fort Benning, Bush backtracked a tad. He said the entire escalation plan had been the Iraqi government’s idea and that Bush’s think tank (the one housing the fish) just tweaked it.
“The Iraqis must secure their people. The government recognizes they’ve got to do so, and they’ve put forth a plan. I received their plan, their version of the plan when I was in Jordan. The Prime Minister came and said, look, I understand we’ve got to do something about this violence, and here is what I suggest we do. Our commanders looked at it, helped fine-tune it so it would work.” (Note: Last month, Iraq Prime Minister al-Maliki announced that he wanted American troops OUT of Baghdad so the Iraqi Army could move in. He’s not a big booster of Bush’s or, apparently, his own plan. Plus, he’s in league with the Shiite militias. D’oh.)
In terms of hard military strategy, Bush declared: “I believe there’s an Almighty, and I believe a gift of the Almighty to every soul is the desire to be free. That’s what I believe.” (Note: And I believe you’re about three and a half quarts short of a gallon of IQ. Sue me.)
In a last ditch attempt to connect the Iraqi occupation to 9/11, Bush proffered. “You know, I knew that right after the attacks, the American psyche being what it is, people would tend to forget the grave threat posed by these people. I knew that. As a matter of fact, I was hoping that would happen so that life would go on.” (Note: How many ways can you say: “Go back buying crap and going into debt while I deal with complex things you cannot possibly understand, morons. Catch me, catch me, if you can. You can’t catch me, I’m the President man.”)
By Saturday, on his radio address, Bush was lashing out at his critics. “Members of Congress have a right to express their views, and express them forcefully. But those who refuse to give this plan a chance to work have an obligation to offer an alternative that has a better chance for success. To oppose everything while proposing nothing is irresponsible.” (Note: Which, in a way, nicely summarizes Dubya’s “New Way Forward.”)
On Sunday, the guard dogs were unleashed on network and cable gabfests. Cheney declared the quagmire “the kind of conflict that’s going to drive our policy and our government for the next 20 or 30 or 40 years.” Nice.
In terms of the majority of Americans’ revulsion to both our Iraq invasion and the escalation of troops? Cheney, ever the populist, quipped: “You cannot simply stick your finger up in the wind and say, gee, public opinion’s against (us), we better quit.” If the president did that, it would just “validate the al Qaeda view of the world.” (Note: To the majority of Americans who aren’t members of snooty social clubs, you’re now officially members of al Qaeda. Get that boy a big ceegar and a turban!)
National Security Adviser Stephen (salivatin’) Hadley warned: “We are going to need to deal with what Iran is doing inside Iraq.”
By Sunday night, on “60 Minutes,” Bush was in full-tilt gonzo “damn the torpedoes full team ahead” mode. Referring to himself as a “scapegoat” for the war, should one be needed, he said he would try to get people behind the new escalation in his role as “educator-in-chief.” Oy!
When asked if he expected Congress to try to stop the never-ending bloodbath, Bush blinked: “Now I fully understand they will. They could try to stop me from doing it, but, uh, I’ve made my decision and we’re going forward.”
When asked if he believed he could send in more troops no matter what Congress says, he stated: “I think I’ve got, in this situation, I do, yeah.”
When asked if he regretted his illegal takeover of Iraq? Bush said “no.”
“Our administration took care of a source of instability in Iraq. Envision a world in which Saddam Hussein was rushing for a nuclear weapon to compete against Iran… He was a significant source of instability.”
“My decision to remove Saddam Hussein was the correct decision in my judgment. We didn’t find the weapons we thought we would find or the weapons everybody thought he had. But he was a significant source of instability,” Bush told CBS reporter Scott Pelley. “We liberated that country from a tyrant. I think the Iraqi people owe the American people a huge debt of gratitude and I believe most Iraqis express that.” (Note: Via sectarian violence, executions and suicide bombings.)
Probably the best summation of Bush’s new batshit policy came from Keith Olbermann who, one day after Dubya’s initial speech, on “Countdown,” noted: “Mr. Bush, this is madness. You have lost the military. You lost the Congress to the Democrats. You have lost most of the Iraqis. You have lost many of the Republicans. You have lost our allies in this. You are losing the credibility not just of your presidency, sir, but more importantly, of your office itself. And most imperatively, you are guaranteeing that more American troops will be losing their lives and more families their loved ones. You are guaranteeing that. This becomes your legacy sir. How many of those you addressed last night as your fellow citizens, have you just sent to their deaths.
“And for what, Mr. Bush? So that the next president has to pull the survivors out of Iraq instead of you? Good night, and good luck.”
Tick-tick…..BONG-BONG-BONG. HAPPY DOOMSDAY, EVERYBODY. Let’s all sing.
“Let old America be forgot
And never brought to mind.
Let old America be forgot.
And the days I thought it mine.”
Don’t forget to tip your Homeland Security waitress on the way out.
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