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Tue

03

Apr

2007

Springtime in Bushland means misery
Tuesday, 03 April 2007 10:39
by Ed Naha

Ah, ‘tis springtime in Bushland, when all Americans think of planting and renewal, of flowers and veggies, of surges, purges and splurges, of Gingrich and DeLay confessing to doing the extramarital “horizontal bop” whilst Karl Rove jokes about beheading small animals on C-Span and tries out hip-hop.

Nero! Grab your fiddle! We’re in for a helluva hoedown.

Since the fish rots from the head down, let’s start with Dubya’s springtime dance of denial. It’s sort of like doin’ the hokey-pokey but with deadlier consequences. Warning against the Senate’s attachment of timelines to a war appropriations bill, he actually said that such timelines would put our troops in danger. Because, as we all know, illegal and botched wars don’t.

He also finally got around to visiting Walter Reed Hospital; a MONTH AND A HALF after stories broke depicting our wounded veterans sharing space with fungus, mildew and vermin. None of his folks were to blame, Bush said. “The ‘system’ failed you and it failed our troops and we’re going to fix it.”

This mysterious “system” is run by terrorists, no doubt. Worse yet, Democrats.

Bush’s belated visit prompted a few retired Generals to give the Prez a phone call before the trip. Retired Major General Paul Eaton gave Bush a high-five for making the trip to see the wounded soldiers but added: “I’m convinced it would honor them (the vets) more if he would refrain from using soldiers as props in political theater.”

Bobby Muller, president of Veterans for America, noted that Bush avoided the worst areas of the hospital, saying: “Walter Reed is not a photo-op. Walter Reed is still broken…Our troops need their commander-in-chief to start working harder for them.”

Maybe next election.

In terms of Iraq, things are going swell. Bush actually quoted two blogging Baghdad brothers to show that businesses were re-opening and people were dancing in the streets, doing that old depleted uranium shuffle, since the U.S. surge began. The bloggers stopped short of quoting that classic pop tune “Sunshine and Lollipops.” (Turns out the boys, both dentists, had a meeting with Bush a couple of years ago to express their thanks for the liberation.)

Bush went on to warn against the dangers of those dastardly Democrats’ withdrawal deadlines. Bush’s warnings prompted a reality check from CNN Iraqi War correspondent Michael Ware, who quipped: “Of course people take note of the domestic politics back in D.C. in the United States. But honestly, that seems so far removed from the reality here on the ground. People are still dying in the dozens every single day. There may be a security crackdown but al Qaeda’s suicide car bombers are still getting through. And we’re still finding 20, 30 tortured executed bodies on the streets of the capital every morning. And American troops continue to die every day. And just this afternoon, we’ve seen a double suicide truck bomb attack, followed by a ground infantry assault by al Qaeda launched against an American position. Now that was repelled, but eight American boys were wounded in the process. Do you think anyone enduring that is paying attention to artificial deadlines that are going to get vetoed by the president and even if they were to pass through the legislative process would only serve al Qaeda and Iran, America’s enemies?”

I’m thinking: probably, not.

But, golly, things are definitely getting better over there! Senator John McCain, chatting with Bill (“I have a Bingo!”) Bennett said the progress is astonishing. “There are neighborhoods in Baghdad where you and I could walk through those neighborhoods, today.”

The following day, two truck bombs killed sixty-six Shiites in Baghdad. (Oops, wrong neighborhood.) Violence spread throughout the country. Shiite police went batshit and killed over four-dozen Sunni citizens. One day later, 105 Iraqis were killed in two truck bombings. The day after that? 45 Sunni men were bound and shot. In Tal Afar last week alone, 105 died. 81 U.S. troops died in March, bringing American casualties up to 3,246. Oh, yeah. Two Australian soldiers who served in Iraq were declared “contaminated” because of constant contact with depleted uranium from the bombs we dropped.

At this point, McCain is coming off as the addled Uncle Max who shows up at Thanksgiving and tells you about how, when he was a kid, he’d slog 45 miles in his bare feet to school every day in blizzard conditions. And Uncle Max grew up in Hawaii.

Not willing to seem to be half-assed in his Iraqi assessment, McCain went on to appear on CNN, where he made it whole-assed. Facing Wolf Blitzer, he declared: “You know, that’s where you ought to catch up on things, Wolf. General Petraeus goes out there almost every day in a non-armed Humvee. I think you ought to catch up. You see, you are giving the old line of three months ago. I understand it. You certainly don’t get it through the filter of some of the media.”

Later, correspondent Michael Ware weighed in with: “Well, I’d certainly like to bring Senator McCain up to speed, if he ever gives me the opportunity. And if I have any difficulty hearing you right now, Wolf, that’s because of the helicopter circling overhead and the gun battle that is blazing just a few blocks down the road. Is Baghdad any safer? Sectarian violence, one particular type of violence, is down. But none of the American generals here on the ground have anything like Senator McCain’s confidence. I mean, Senator McCain’s credibility now on Iraq, which has been so solid to this point, has now been left out hanging to dry.

“To suggest that there’s any neighborhood in this city where an American can walk freely is beyond ludicrous. I’d love Senator McCain to tell me where that neighborhood is and he and I can go for a stroll. And to think that General David Petraeus travels this city in an unarmed Humvee? I mean, in the hour since Senator McCain has said this, I’ve spoken to some military sources and there was laughter down the line. I mean, certainly, the general travels in a Humvee. There are multiple Humvees around it, heavily armed. There are attack helicopters, Predator drones, sniper teams, all sorts of layers of protection. So, no, Senator McCain is way off base on this one.”

McCain paid a visit to Baghdad, this past weekend, extolling the progress, there. Six American troops were blown up during his trip.

Not to be outdone as a citizen of Fantasyland, Veep Dick (“Conan, the Civilian”) Cheney, whose only combat experience involved a fly-swatter and a can of Raid, has been out on the stump, taunting those spineless Congressional Democrats with such subtle bon mots as “When members speak not of victory, but of time limits, deadlines or other arbitrary measures, they’re telling the enemy simply to watch the clock and wait us out!”

When Wolf Blitzer asked former Senator and decorated disabled war veteran Max Cleland what he would say to Cheney face-to-face, Cleland replied: “Where the hell were you in the Vietnam War? If you had have gone to Vietnam like the rest of us, maybe you would have learned something about war. You can’t keep troops on the ground forever. They’ve got to have a mission. They’ve got to have a purpose. You can’t keep sending them back and back and back with no mission and no purpose.

“As a matter of fact, the real enemy is al Qaeda. It’s al Qaeda — stupid. It’s not in Iraq. That’s why we have to withdraw the ground forces there, settle Iraq with a diplomatic solution and go after al Qaeda.

“That’s what we should have been doing for the last four years. Instead, this administration and this vice president and this president wants to send more troops to Iraq. Unbelievable.”

Unbelievable seems to be the “it” word this spring. Karl Rove “raps” on C-Span. Gingrich tries to curry the favor of Conservative Christians by confessing to adultery. Tom DeLay, ignoring the fact that he’s under indictment, confesses he was a Bohemian boinker but he wasn’t as bad as everyone else. Seedy Gonzales doesn’t know anything about the big purge by the DOJ of “not-Bushie enough” prosecutors. The head of the FBI says that the FBI has trashed the rules of the Patriot Act in spying on American citizens because of “mistakes” that won’t happen again.

You really want unbelievable?

After Bush left Guatemala City, a few weeks back, even the Mayans knew he reeked of “bad spirits.” Mayan priests purified a sacred archaeological site to eliminate them after Bush departed.

“That a person like (Bush), with the persecution of our migrant brothers in the United States, with the wars he has provoked, is going to walk in our sacred lands, is an offense for the Mayan people and their culture,” Juan Tiney, the director of a Mayan nongovernmental organization with close ties to Mayan religious and political leaders, said.

Tiney said the “spirit guides of the Mayan community” decided it would be necessary to cleanse the sacred site of “bad spirits” after Bush’s visit so that their ancestors could rest in peace. You know, like Pat Tillman’s family.

How about this headline from “The Sunday Times?” “Native American trackers to hunt bin Laden.”
Here are the first graphs: “An elite group of Native American trackers is joining the hunt for terrorists crossing Afghanistan’s borders.

“The unit, the Shadow Wolves, was recruited from several tribes, including the Navajo, Sioux, Lakota and Apache. It is being sent to Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to pass on ancestral sign-reading skills to local border units.

“In recent years, members of the Shadow Wolves have mainly tracked smugglers along the US border with Mexico.

“But the Taliban’s resurgence in Afghanistan and the US military’s failure to hunt down Osama bin Laden - still at large on his 50th birthday on Saturday - has prompted the Pentagon to requisition them.

“US Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said last month: ‘If I were Osama bin Laden, I’d keep looking over my shoulder.’”

Somewhere, floating in the ether, is the punchline: “What do you mean WE, white man?”

A couple of more headlines to sum up springtime in Bushland: “Man leads chase, claims he’s Dick Cheney.”

From the wire: “A man was taken to Bridgeport (Conn.) Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation after he led authorities on a high-speed chase and then claimed to be Vice President Dick Cheney, police said.

“John Spernak, 42, later admitted he wasn’t Cheney but said he was actually ‘Charlie’s Angels’ star Jaclyn Smith, police said. He also claimed to be the husband of Paris Hilton’s sister.”

Obviously, Spernak will, one day, join the Bush Administration at Cabinet level since he lies as well as, uh, Dick Cheney.

Also of note, from AFB, “The unicorn was driving, drunk tells police.”

Lead graph: “LOS ANGELES (AFP) - A man accused of drunk-driving and crashing his truck into a lamp post told police a unicorn had been at the wheel when it careened off the road, local media reported Wednesday.”

I’m thinking McCain has just found a new campaign manager.

And, in terms of sheer fantasy regarding our world today? Try these two headlines, side-by-side: “Bush, Rove, crack up press corps” and “Attacks in Iraq hit all time high in last quarter of 2006: Pentagon.”

Stop it! You’re killing me! Haw! Haw!

The nice thing about spring is that, if you plant and really keep the killer weeds from spreading, eventually things will grow. On the downside? There’s the smell of all that manure.

But, in due course, the winds come and the smell of crap disappears.

Happy spring, gang. The winds of change are blowing. Here’s hoping democracy will bloom, once again.
 
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