Stubborness as a Virtue
Never Give Up, Never Surrender
This is almost exactly George W. Bush's "new" Iraq policy. It is also the slogan of Commander Peter Quincy Taggart, fictional captain of the NSEA Protector, portrayed by pompous, clueless Jason Nesmith, played by Tim Allen (as opposed to Jason Nesmith the musician, son of musician/personal idol Michael Nesmith, who just happens to have a new CD on the way) in the satirical movie Galaxy Quest. He is also a swaggering misfit who fancies himself a commander. The irony here is that it took Bush's staff about three years to come up with an Iraq "strategy." For all it's worth, they should have just gone with Gone with the Wind's "Frankly, Scarlett, I don't give a damn." At least it would have been southern.
As we all have read, the "president's" popularity continues to tank. What amazes me, though, is there is still a solid (but small) percentage of people who admire his "resoluteness." I would love to know exactly who this minority is, but I can't help believing they are the constituency who decimates our national parks, marshes, dunes and wetlands with oversized muddy tires, and finds it charming to beat their wives. Those are usually the people who admire stubbornness. Sorry, I know that's bad. But I wonder how inaccurate.
Anyway, some Americans may admire the "stick-to-it-ness" of Bush's "never say die" policy in Iraq, but our allies are leaving that country in droves. Bulgaria and the Ukraine are pulling out now, and Australia, Italy, Japan, Poland and South Korea are also considering a reduction or pull-out within 2006. Note, though, that the U.S. has 160,000 troops in Iraq. The other countries are now contributing just 24,000--mostly non-combat personnel. The next largest contingent is Britain, with only 8,000. We haven't heard the term "coalition of the willing" in a while.
Speaking of "never say...," Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld came up with a novel solution to getting rid of the insurgents in Iraq. He defined them out of existence by deciding the word "insurgent" was no longer appropriate! That approach is, of course, not really novel in the double-speak Bush administration. But it has sure given a headache to Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who was at a complete loss for words as to what to call the insurgency at that press conference. How Rumsfeld's semantics differed from Bill Clinton's definition of what is is, is (how's that for a lot of isses) beyond me. Well, we do know the difference. The amount of people getting screwed.
And, of course, the best and the brightest of the America's dominant political party has been exemplified by eight-term Republican California Representative Randy "Duke" Cunningham , a Vietnam War fighter pilot who has been a big defense supporter. Wonder why. He just pleaded guilty to taking $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors and "tearfully" resigned. I'm sure the tears are because he was caught. He was also called "swaggering" which brings us full circle to paragraph one.
Welcome to December. Be sure to fasten your holiday seatbelts.
Posted: Thu - December 1, 2005 at 12:55 PM