Bush is desperately manipulating all of the levers of his office and his elevated platform to portray himself as something more than the dangerous loser that the majority Americans polled say he is. On the other side of the video screen, Maliki and his installed leadership desperately need to show Iraqis they still have the force of their U.S. military oppressors behind their crumbling regime. They want to get our attention away from the bloody images that Bush has complained, "gets on our TV screens," which represent the effect of their miserable mission in Iraq.
For those few Americans who've been closeting themselves away from the news on the ground in Iraq, and, are just emerging to engage in their most important contribution to their democracy, Bush wants them to know in his joint statement with his Iraqi protege' that he and Maliki are "working" on Iraq; working on training the Iraqi 'security forces; working on transferring 'command and control' over to the Iraqis; and that he has gathered his generals and ambassadors together "to make recommendations on how these goals can be best achieved." Amazingly, these 'goals' are being presented as if we had just arrived in Iraq and not already spent billions and billions on reconstruction and security there.
Three years into his occupation of Iraq, Bush wants to take back all of his blather about a 'mission accomplished' and recast the occupation of Iraq as the center of a perpetual, "ideological struggle" in his manufactured "war on terror." As the 'center' of his terror war, Iraq represents a tragic failure which, for Bush and Maliki, has devolved into little more than a staged backdrop for their respective political campaigns in a desperate attempt to hold on to their contrived power. Neither of them want to let our troops come home, and both men regularly lie to their countryfolk about our troops and their mission there. Our soldiers, and the Iraqi troops, are being thrown by their leaders against the citizens of Iraq in a vain attempt to increase their self-imposed authority over them, and establish some mimic of democracy in which to nest their imperialism.
Despite Maliki's attempts to consolidate power under his U.S.- sponsored, extra-constitutional rule, groups opposed to his propped-up regime have achieved a solidarity with each other to a degree unimagined under the watch of the former dictator Saddam, have united behind their opposition to the foreign invaders, and have been emboldened by his crumbling junta. Bush and his minions still claim that our soldiers are fighting and dying for Iraqis' freedom and liberation, but the destructive force and humanity of our nation's defenses is being directed against the very Iraqis whose votes Bush regularly trumpets as democracy in Iraq.
In America, under republican occupation of all branches of our government, Bush and his increasingly autocratic regime have worked to substitute all levers of control in our system of checks-and-balances with their own assumed powers. The Bush regime is being enabled by a compliant republican-controlled Congress which refuses to hold Bush to the very laws they're passing.
There can be no democracy in America if our Congress continues to deliberately obstruct the will of those Americans who elected them into office. There is no support in the nation for Bush's open-ended occupation of Iraq. There is no support in America for Bush's diversion into from the hunt for bin-Laden in Afghanistan to invade and occupy Iraq. There is no support for Bush's vow to keep our soldiers hunkered down in Iraq for "as long as he's president."
There is no support for listening to Osama bin Laden when deciding on where and when to deploy our nation's defenses. On the trail of his 'fear and smear' campaign Saturday, Bush brought the specter of the terrorist leader with him to convince those in the crowd who wouldn't take his word for it, that Iraq was more than just a diversion from the 'terror war' he claims to be fighting with all of the false authority he says he needs. "Five years after September the 11th," Bush said to the Indiana republicans, "too many Democrats still do not get it. The best way to protect this homeland is to find the enemy and defeat them overseas." (Applause.)
"Oh, I know you've heard all the discussion about Iraq," Bush told the crowd. "They say -- in Washington, the Democrats say it's not a part of the war against the terrorists, it's a distraction. Well, don't take my word for it -- listen to Osama bin Laden. He has made it clear that Iraq is a central part of this war on terror. He and his number two man, Zawahiri have made it abundantly clear that their goal is to inflict enough damage on innocent life and damage on our own troops so that we leave before the job is done. And why do they want to do that? They want to establish safe haven, like the safe haven they had in Afghanistan, from which to launch further attacks on the United States of America. They want to have a base from which to topple moderate governments."
In his most desperate and despicable act of the campaign, Bush elevated the terrorists who he is actively letting run free in Afghanistan, to commanders of the resistance to the distraction he's staging in Iraq. Nothing could be more disgustingly cynical than justifying the deaths and sacrifices of our soldiers in Iraq by continuing and furthering the lie that the al-Qaeda they say attacked our nation on 9-11-- the al-Qaeda they refuse to pursue in Afghanistan -- the al-Qaeda whose propaganda Bush carries around the country in his back pocket -- is somehow responsible for the civil war in Iraq, and for the violent expressions of liberty and self-determination by Iraqis which Bush disregards as threats to his consolidation of U.S. power and influence.
There would be no opportunity for al-Qaeda to establish any level of influence in Iraq if Bush had kept to his promise to apprehend bin-Laden "dead or alive" in 2001. There would be no opportunity for al-Qaeda to establish any base anywhere after 9-11 if Bush and his inept regime hadn't conned our nation into invading Iraq to "draw a line in the sand" as his British toady Blair put it. Now they've been reduced to building a fortress of humanity and armor around the seat of their manufactured government in Baghdad as a substitute for the security they promised would surround our own nation.
Five years after September the 11th, Bush and his republican enablers still do not get it. The fact that Bush has bogged our troops down in his needless occupation, fighting and dying in defense of a fundamentally flawed regime, does not make Iraq a threat to our nation. It represents an outrageous abuse of the office of the presidency in support of an imperialism far outside of our nation's constitution or conscience. Bush and his republicans have abandoned their responsibility to pursue the perpetrators of the 9-11 attacks as mandated by the congressional authorization to use military force that Bush regularly uses to justify his grabs for power.
There was one group of individuals who was determined responsible by our government for the 9-11 attacks. That group has been allowed to run loose, taunting us with their slick videotaped edicts, spreading their message with impunity; with the assistance of Bush in his cynical campaign to hold onto power, as he repeats the terrorists' threats to justify his Iraq diversion from their apprehension. We should stay in Iraq, he says, to defeat the terrorists; to defeat the very ones we are letting run free by staying in Iraq.
As we go to the polls, we should keep our Democratic leaders in mind as we vote to send them a majority with which to initiate and prioritize legislation, rejecting (and hopefully overturning) the 'smash and grab' republicans who have so thoroughly enjoyed trampling on our democracy. To allow Bush and his republican enablers to continue their increasingly autocratic reign with our votes, or by our non-participation in our most important lever of our nations democracy, will invite another round of Bush's arrogant militarism which has so endangered our country and so destabilized the world community.
Replacing the majority in one or both houses of Congress is the first step in reclaiming our democracy from the republican occupiers. Eliminating the state of siege imposed by the Bush regime here at home and around the world through his reflexive militarism will be the next step in securing our country from the likelihood of violent reprisals, and in re-establishing the comity and cooperation between nations achieved after 9-11 attacks that Bush squandered.
If Bush and his minions continue to defy the will of Congress after the election of a Democratic majority, as the republicans have been allowing all along in the face of Bush's 'signing statements' and outright refusals to obey the law, they should be impeached. Constitutionally, impeachment originates in the House of Representatives. Despite the assurances from Democratic leaders that they don't intend to impeach anyone, voters intent on holding the Bush regime accountable will provide more than enough cover for our leaders when the Bush regime digs in for their lame-duck defense of whatever they still occupy.