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A Coward Goes to Baghdad

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A Coward Goes to Baghdad
 
by Doug Basham   
OpEdNews.com 

 

Forget "The eagle has landed." On Thursday, the turkey landed - on many Americans dinner plates, and on the runway of the airport formerly known as Saddam Hussein International.
 
The stupidity of conservatives never ceases to amaze me, as well as that of the media (and the majority of the American people, come to think of it). And to MY way of thinking, no-one has got this trip right yet.
 
Thus far, the focus has been on the secrecy surrounding the trip, the choice of Fox News to accompany the president, (which pretty much sums up his credibility level when he chooses the television equivalent of the National Enquirer to assist him in his chicanery). The focus has also been on whether or not it was a wise decision for the president to make (what? Like wisdom has been a staple of this administration thus far?)
 
When I first learned of this trip,  a couple things came to my mind immediately.
 
First, the obvious ... Remember all the times Mr. Bush told us how swimmingly things were going in Iraq - much different than the "'perceptions" we were being given by the American "filtered" media - well except Fox News of course. (Which raises the question. I wonder if the anchors and hosts at Fox have to provide their own Vaseline, or if it's in their contract that Fox has to). Now... if things are so hunky dory in Iraq; if it's just a handful of rag-tag Baathist loyalists and remnants who are causing all the trouble - why all the secrecy? Why even take Air Force One? Why not just book your flight with 'Air Liberation', so that the overwhelming majority of the Iraqi populace who just LOVE our presence in their country, and think it's just so Mohammed when their 4 and 5 year olds are frisked - they could be waiting for you at the airport with flowers and chocolates. 
 
While much of the focus of the president's trip to Iraq (rightly so, and primarily because it is so obvious) has centered on the fact that the very nature of the trip demonstrates how dire the security situation in Iraq truly is, there hasn't been as much mention as to how this "nature" undermines the administration's claims to the contrary. 
 
But here's the other thing that came to my mind after learning of his secret trip to Iraq - and the part of the equation that no-one seems to get, or simply doesn't have the balls to articulate.
 
Listen to this first line in a story from London's "The Telegraph" on Friday ..."President George W. Bush was back at his Texas Ranch yesterday basking in the most adulatory coverage in months, as an admiring American media described his surprise trip to Iraq as one of the boldest ever presidential forays."  
 
BOLD?!?!  Doesn't anybody get it? Let's put the pieces together.   
 
First piece... I remember this pathetic, cowardly little man in the White House standing before the cameras and saying ... "Bring 'em On". And I remember how his mindless boot lickers praised him for his bravado - too damn stupid to realize that a comment like this was putting our troops in FAR more danger than any 10 stories the media could report - the same media who essentially handed Bush his war on a silver platter - the same media this administration and their apologists now like to blame for the deaths or our soldiers.
 
Second piece... Last Monday at Fort Carson, Colorado ... the president said "The United States of America will not be intimidated by a bunch of thugs."
 
Third piece... During his visit with the troops in Baghdad, he said "We did not charge hundreds of miles into the heart of Iraq, pay a bitter cost in casualties, defeat a brutal dictator and liberate 25 million people only to retreat before a band of thugs and assassins."  Now first of all ... What do you mean "we", Kemo Bushbey? The only charge you've led is the one against our values, intelligence, decency, reputation and civil liberties ... altho' you have been charging a lot to America's American Express card, haven't you?
 
Fourth piece... On the plane, just 3 hours from Baghdad, Bush said "I was fully prepared to turn this baby around and come home."  Again - YOU were prepared to turn the plane around, Mr. Resident? 
 
Is it starting to become clearer here what the main issue of this Iraq trip SHOULD be? Let me bottom line it ... plain and simple.
 
When the coward in chief is safe and sound in America, he says ... "Bring 'em On", or..."We will not be intimidated by thugs." Now don't you think a more appropriate time to say that - if indeed you were a man of courage, honor, conviction and "boldness" - would have been if you were planning to GO to Iraq, or when you were already THERE in Iraq?
 
But what did he say instead? First thing he said was ... "Shhhhhhh." The second was, "I was fully prepared to turn this baby around and come home."   
 
Put another way - when it's the lives of our soldiers that are at risk, Bush says "Bring 'em on" or, "The United States will not be intimidated by a bunch of thugs." When it's HIS sorry ass that might be in peril, he says, "if anyone finds out I'm coming ... I'M turning this plane around and going home." And for this act of seemingly unnoticed cowardice, he's called... bold?!
 
Where's the boldness? Where's the bravado? Where's the ... "Bring 'em on", and  "We won't be intimidated by thugs" when it really matters? Wouldn't THAT have been the time for the bra-a-a-v-e Commander in Chief to say "Hey, you want a piece of me? I'm coming to 'gitcha'. Gonna' smoke you out. Dead or alive. Take your best shot ...thug! Bring it on.. THUG!!
 
Nope. When there's a chance he might face the same kind of danger he himself has CREATED for our soldiers; and it's time for him to put action to words? No bravado and no courage at all. Instead there's "Shhhhh" and "I'll turn this baby around and come home."
 
And yet the ... "liberal media" (God, that's one lie I am getting so sick of) ... the "liberal media" absolutely gushes and slobbers all over this cowardly performance and calls it one of the boldest presidential forays EVER!! 
 
And you wonder why the majority of Americans still support this arrogant little coward?  I'll TELL you why they do. Because no-one is telling them he IS an arrogant, little coward, that' why. They're telling the American people ... he's bold.
 
And actually, he IS bold. He's bold with his LIES! That coupled with the fact that he lies so constantly - many people who ARE aware of how long his nose is are in such shock by how blatant and in your face many of his lies are - are left speechless with their jawbones dragging on the ground.  Case in point -  right after he went on television and admitted there was no evidence to support a link between Saddam Hussein and 9-11, he went back to his very effective "propaganda by segue" schtick, and the next time he tried to justify his misguided debacle in Iraq, he said it was important to learn the lessons of 9-11. RIGHT THERE - someone should have raised their hand and said "Uh, Mr. President? You're doing it again. You just said yesterday there was no link, but now by segueing from 9-11 into Iraq, you're implying there is. People with REAL values call that lying." But did anyone say that? Besides me? Not that I heard.
 
And you know why he was able to say again for the umpteenth time just the other day that the Taliban were gone forever? Because the very FIRST time he said it - right after a barrage of reports that the Taliban were reconstituting themselves - no-one raised their hand and said, "Uh, Mr. President, there is report after report coming out of Afghanistan that say the Taliban are not only resurging, they actually control several provinces in the country, and that we don't even completely control Kabul anymore. How can you in all good conscience -  being a man of God yourself, in fact, the man God himself chose to lead this great nation" ... (and I guess that makes sense ... he certainly wasn't the first choice of the American people in 2000) ... "How can you stand before this great nation and "boldly" LIE to them?"
 
I would like to ask the president these questions. Is this your way of making us all pay for not electing your father twice? Is it your way of making us pay for not electing you even ONCE? How badly do you feel we need to be punished for just not being smart enough to realize who God himself wanted in the oval office in the year 2000? And is this how your sick mind has justified acting like a dictator and stifling democratic dissent - because you know you were never democratically elected in the first place, so like, what difference does it make?  
 
"Bottom line is folks ... we're losing the battle. No-one seems to be able - or they don't have the GUTS - to look past the surface of this administration's shallow, deceitful crap and report what the REAL story is. Not one news show I watched on television, or one person I saw on any of the shows said "The main thing this trip proves is that not only is Bush a LIAR ... he's a GUTLESS liar as well!"
 
And here's one other element you can add to this story, just to use this administration's blustering bulls--t against them. By including a "turn around and head home" provision in his travel plan, could not a case be made that while he was verbally saying "We will not be intimidated by thugs", what he was insinuating was "I will be intimidated by thugs"? And then, using the president's own criteria for dissenter demonization, could not a further case be made that Mr. Bush provided aid and comfort to the enemy (now defined as anyone who disagrees with Bush's occupation or policies), by acknowledging how precarious the situation in Iraq really is by including a "turn around" provision?... and by demonstrating to the "terrorists" (now defined as anyone who disagrees with Bush's occupation or policies) how successful and feared their resistance is by the "Top Goon" in the United States? When any other American does this, this administration and their hit men label them unpatriotic and unsupportive of the troops, but when Bush does it, he's called... bold? Just food for thought.
 
Back to the real issue behind "the trip" - namely, cowardice. From "Bring 'em On" and "WE won't be intimidated by thugs" to I'M gonna' turn this baby around and go home". And yet the media - (even the British media for God's sake, who certainly should be able to figure this one out) - drops the ball once again, and calls this "one of the boldest presidential forays ever"? How insulting. All I see is blatant, 2 faced hypocrisy, and spineless, shameful cowardice. Verbal machismo backed by physical retreat do not equate with courage. But to anyone familiar with Mr. Bush's military record or his actions on that fateful day in September 2001, this is par for the course. And while Mr. Dressup in the White House's physical actions may be bold in their sheer audacity, they are certainly not bold in the positive context the media is framing them in now. 
 
Where I come from, "boldness" must be rooted in honesty. And seeing as we cannot count on the media to inform the American people, let us never forget the one over-riding truth in this entire Iraqmire. Bush lied and our soldiers died. Period. Our men and women - our brothers and sisters - and our kids. And the only "boldness" in this equation are the repeated lies Bush, his administration and our compliant media keep shoving down America's throat with such force they would make Linda Lovelace herself gag. Bold.. my... ass.
 
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Doug Basham broadcasts every weekday morning on AM 1230 KLAV in Las Vegas from 8 - 9 AM Pacific. The show is also simulcast on the internet. For more show or guest information, to listen live on the web, or to sign up for his free email newsletter, please visit http://www.dougbasham.com. Doug can be reached at bashamradio@cox.net, or toll free at 1-866-DOUG-911. This article is copyright Doug Basham and originally published by opednews.com but permission is granted for reprint in print, email, blog or web media so long as this credit paragraph is attached. 

This article has drawn a massive response. Here's one letter from a GI stationed in Iraq. We're keeping him anonymous to protect him from the revenge we know the Bush leadership metes out to people who raise their voices.

I am stationed in the Iraq theater and have limited access to the www. but I know the truth when I see it. I just read your oped about the Coward making a trip and I couldn't agree more. You hit the nail on the head. I was a big supporter of Bush, but after being here for nearly a year now I know the truth and you are telling it. Thanks for your insite on the issue and not being afraid to tell it.

Thanks From Iraq,

and here's another letter from a former GI:

In response to Doug Basham's OpEd http://www.opednews.com/basham1103_baghdad_coward.htm I only have one thing to point out. As a former GI, having spent many years in combat arms fields in the US Army, I ask you to think of this from the GI's point of view. While I know that the rear-echelon GIs who whooped and hollared for Bush meant it from their hearts -- anything for them to get a feeling that they're not forgotten would have been welcome,  especially a visit from the president -- but one ought to contemplate what the troops thought at noon on Thanksgiving day.

Do the math. Remember, Bush snuck into Baghdad at 5-something AM and only spent 2 1/2 hours in the city before fleeing. That means those GIs who Bush served "Thanksgiving dinner" to were ordered to get up at 5 or 6 AM and told to go eat a "breakfast" of turkey, mashed potatoes and all the fixings.

By noon it would have dawned on all but the most cerebrally-challenged GIs that they had been used like a cheap prostitute for a presidential photo-op propaganda ploy designed to generate warm fuzzies in the people watching football with full bellies back in the US. The president's actions were worse than being merely cowardly, they exploited the GIs on the ground for a few fleeting domestic political points.

 

 

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