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Chris Matthews Plays Ball with Karen Hughes

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Message Missy Beattie
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Karen Hughes, Bush's Ambassador for Public Diplomacy, just played softball with Chris Matthews. Clearly, Matthews should drug test his guests before they walk on his court, because it was obvious that Hughes was under the influence of some substance that made her just a little too perky, especially since we'd just learned that four more soldiers were killed in Iraq. Or maybe she was giddy after hearing the president say that only about "30,000 more or less" Iraqis have died.

I guess the urinalysis would've been negative--unless they test for pheromones, and that's probably what she'd had a big snort of before her interview on MSNBC. The pheromones of George W. Bush that is. Ugh.

Hughes' recent trip to the Middle East, where she tried as one mother to another to relate to the women there, was received about as enthusiastically as our troops were in Iraq. No flowers. In fact, after Hughes public flogging, I thought she'd gone into the Witness Protection Program. She was out of sight for weeks.

But Karen Hughes is back and gushing over her idol's accomplishments in Iraq. She made a statement that caused my head to spin--that the United States had for years "ignored the freedom deficit" in the region. What? This woman needs another trip to the Middle East for a reality slap by Arab women to understand that it's our joined-at-the-hip loyalty to Ariel Sharon while we throw scraps to the Palestinians and our coveting of oil that make Muslims want to hijack planes and kill as many Americans as possible.

Wake up, Karen. Grow up. Get over your schoolgirl crush. You can string together a pretty good sentence, but you are so enamored of George that you're living in Bizarro World.

Among your statements: "Occupation is not our intent." Also: "We're seeing signs of steady progress there." And: "The Iraqi people are increasingly optimistic."

But, Karen, 58% of Americans don't believe Bush has a victory plan in Iraq and 68% of Iraqis say our troops should get out.

You and George are stating: "Once the mission is complete, we'll bring our troops home."

I guess many of us are wondering what the mission is because it has morphed many, many times. You know that. WMD: None. Remove an evil dictator: Did that. Democratize the country: The jury's still out. What exactly is the mission now?

There you were on Hardball, telling Chris and the viewing audience that the decision to go to war was the "hardest and most profound decision a president can make." Not for this one. We've seen otherwise--all the statements that Bush was a little too eager--even said, "Give me a reason." That God told him to go to war in Iraq.

And, then, Karen, you said you and Bush must do a better job of explaining to the American people what's happening as we work to rebuild Iraq. Please. Chris took you to task a couple of times but dropped the ball plenty in his mainstream news, suck-up pattern.

At least five militant groups have denounced the Iraqi elections. The place is a country in chaos--so much worse than it was under Saddam Hussein. As much as Iraqis would love a democracy, their main concern right now is safety, a security that many say may or may not come, but definitely won't as long as the American occupation continues.

And you think talking about working with the Palestinians to build their lives is going to get your man some support among Arabs? What? It's going to take more than talk.

Take a deep breath and exhale those G. W. Bush pheromones. Get them out of your system. They may be toxic. You'd be better off using some of that stuff Bush relied on years ago. Alcohol and whatever else he was into until he found religion. Bottoms up. You might have a keener view of the world and the train wreck George has made of it.
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Missy Beattie lives in New York City. She's written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. An outspoken critic of the Bush Administration and the war in Iraq, she's a member of Gold Star Families for Peace. She completed a (more...)
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