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Waiting for Mr. Bush

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"I won't be hurried into Iraq changes," President Bush snapped in mid-December in response to a nosey question. The crap he has to put up with. First, Dr. Phil butts in at the Christmas concert--telling Laura to try now everyone is on George's case about his ego war; mostly because a bunch of pale old guys with no interesting hobbies printed an overpriced pamphlet.

The manly president will get back to us when he's damn well ready--sometime after his Christmas/New Years vacation at Camp David and the play ranch in Texas--and only then will he unveil his "new way forward for Iraq" at a time and place of his choosing. Of course, we have to keep in mind that the daily bike rides, photo-ops, fundraising, brush clearing, exercising. campaigning, recreational reading (he's having a contest with Karl to see who can read the most books that have absolutely nothing to do with Iraq), early bedtimes, fishing and long weekends eat up spades of time--on average Bush only has 12 minutes left per weekday to govern--so the delay of "the new way" could be substantial.

Sticklers for time, the urgency fanatics fed up with the presidential lollygagging, point out the stats; dozens--sometimes hundreds--of our soldiers and Iraqis die or lose limbs every day. And it's been over 3 years and 9 months since George gave Donny Wiseass the go-ahead to use U.S. soldiers as guinea pigs--to test Rummy's light force theory. The president should have a strategy by now, the nitpickers say. But he doesn't.

So what's new?

Bush always takes his time--even when people are dying. He even walks and talks slower during a crisis. It's Bush Doctrine #3954--do nothing until any action is useless. Then make excuses.

Before taking office in January of 2001, the president was briefed on al Qaeda and the threat posed by bin Laden, but he waited until September 12 to harden our defenses. Even when dozens of terrorist warnings crossed the Oval Office desk in the summer preceding 9/11, the Decider took a month long vacation rather than get all keyed up and do something leader-like. Later, Bush would say, "...never did we realize the threat could be directed at the American people."

On the day of 9/11-after Andy Card told him, "America is under attack"--the Commander-in-Chief loitered for an hour and fifteen minutes before ordering the military to defend the country against further strikes. Why wait? Evidently, Bush doubted his Chief of Staff, because he was under the impression that the United States was enemy proof. Bush explained, "... it was very difficult to link any attack on the American soil, because prior to September the 11th, we were confident that two oceans could protect us from harm." Stupid non-protecting oceans.

And, before the storm hit the gulf coast in 2005, Bush was told that hurricane Katrina would be big trouble for a large portion of the country. No problem. The leader of the free world jetted off to Arizona to eat birthday cake with John McCain and then on to California to play guitar with a country music star. Meanwhile, people in New Orleans drowned, starved and dehydrated--waiting in vain for anybody to take charge and help them. Right on cue, a few days later, a perplexed president made a pass over the devastated area in Air Force One. "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees," he said. It was lie, of course, but that's nothing new either.

So, even though we all know that George Bush will not have a useful plan for Iraq in hand, one that has even a remote chance of resolving the situation he created, we will wait to hear it. Then, we will wait another long 2 years.
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Ron Schalow from Fargo, North Dakota is the author of "Bullshit Artist - The 9/11 Leadership Myth" a book about George W. Bush and his pathetic performance on September 11.
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