"I have no need to learn how Congress speaks for the people. As President, I intend to listen. But I also intend to listen to the people themselves-all the people-as I promised last Friday. I want to be sure that we are all tuned in to the real voice of America." --Gerald Ford, address to a joint session of Congress, August 12, 1974
Bush and his reshuffled cabal are busy rehearsing for a revival performance of their 'Enduring Iraqi Occupation' act, coming as early as next week with another 'major' speech explaining how over 2900 dead soldiers is 'progress', and how sacrificing even more would be a 'success'.
In Bush addled mind, everyone but him should take responsibility for the Iraq disaster. In a meeting with Senior State Dept. officials Monday, which was a transparent effort to promote his own failed Iraq policy team ahead of the influential Iraq Study Group, Bush stressed that the "role of America" is to help Iraq's "young democracy" to survive.
He also called on Iraq's neighbors to take responsibility for his nation-building fiasco. "Most of the countries understand that a mainstream society, a society that is a functioning democracy, is in their interests," Bush declared. "And it's up to us to help focus their attentions and focus their efforts on helping the Iraqis succeed," he said.
On the surface, it would appear that Bush had taken heed of last month's election in which voters soundly rejected his fear and smear campaign claiming that Iraq was the 'center' of the fight against terror by replacing his legislative majority in Congress. At first glance it would appear that Bush had taken heed of the conclusions and recs from the ISG which call for a withdrawal from Iraq whether they're ready or not, and is reviewing the 77 proposals in good faith.
However, Bush was just pretending to appreciate the efforts of his father's concierge, Baker, in crafting a way out of Iraq. Even before the group released its proposals, Bush made it clear that he was looking for a "way forward" with his bloody occupation, not a way out. He heaped praise on the folks who are managing the politics "on the ground" in Iraq, though, without once mentioning the ISG bomb that captured the attention of the White House and the world over the weekend.
"No question in my mind, there are some very brave State Department officials who are engaged in this really important endeavor," Bush said of Condi's diplomatic warriors. "I appreciate the advice I got from those folks in the field. And that advice is an important part, an important component of putting together a new way forward in Iraq," he told reporters.
Bush went on to promote the other counters he's planned to blunt the impact of the highly critical ISG report, as if there was still a speck of credibility from anything from this administration which would gain the confidence of an American public determined to end his Iraq obsession. "I'm looking forward to continuing my deliberations with the military," he said.
"There's no question we've got to make sure that the State Department and the Defense Department are -- the efforts and their recommendations are closely coordinated so that when I do speak to the American people, they will know that I've listened to all aspects of government, and that the way forward is the way forward to achieve our objective: to succeed in Iraq," Bush explained.
Bush wants us to know that he's listening to his defective "government", rather than listening to the independent, bipartisan Iraq Study Group's recommendations, or, listen to two out of three Americans who, according to the Newsweek poll, believe the United States is losing ground in Iraq (68 percent), and the sixty-two percent of Americans who want the Bush administration to set a timetable for withdrawal.
Bush talked a lot in his campaign for the presidency about "trusting the people" over the government. If Bush was really listening to the American public, by whose permission he's allowed to serve, he would be looking for an exit from Iraq, rather than planning a deeper commitment there.
He shouldn't be spared the judgment of their senators and representatives in the new Democratic majority, as they exercise their responsibility to hold him to account, that he adhere to voters' demands that he work to remove our soldiers from the middle of Iraq's civil war. If Bush won't accept the bipartisan compromise crafted by the ISG as his guide in Iraq, he should be held to full account for the continuing chaos and loss he permits to continue with his arrogance. He won't be able to hide behind his negligent administration lackeys.