Did I see you in the red death jazz of war
losing moths among lost faces,
speaking to the stubs who asked you
to speak of songs and God and dancing,
of bananas, northern lights or Jesus,
any hummingbird of thought whatever
flying away from the red death jazz of war? -- Sandburg
Walking where Jesus walked, Bush visited Christ's second home Friday, not far from where the religious figure was said to have fed 'multitudes' with a few fish and a loaf of bread. Bush is traveling in the Mideast, seeking to craft a miracle of his own out of empty, confrontational rhetoric and produce "Mideast peace" for a region which is awash in violence; much of it perpetrated by a growing number of martyrs and militants in resistance to his own bloody, military expansion into Iraq and Afghanistan. "I'm on a timetable," Bush told reporters. "I've got 12 months."
"I believe it's possible - not only possible, I believe it's going to happen - that there be a signed peace treaty by the time I leave office," Bush said, despite his failure during the visit to secure any agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians on the issues and concerns raised in November, in Annapolis.
In an interview in Jerusalem with NBC News, Bush was asked if he endorsed the view of republican presidential candidate John McCain that the U.S. would be in Iraq for 100 yrs.. Bush offered that the U.S. could be in Iraq for a decade. "It could easily be that, absolutely," he said.
If you're left to wonder just what the U.S. military would be doing in Iraq during that decade, you can be excused for imagining that the U.S. is actually concerned with reducing its presence in Iraq. You can be excused, as well, for thinking that the recent report of a U.S. military pull-out from Iraq's previously violent Anbar province meant that the administration's final justification for remaining and continuing the occupation, -- defending against 'Iraqi al-Qaeda' -- has been fulfilled and will enable us to withdraw and leave Iraq to the Iraqis. There is still the Iran hook he's used as a fall-back, despite his indifference and inattention at the beginning of his term.
While on his Mideast 'peace' mission, Bush took time out to lash out at his favorite nemesis, as he predictably, but ironically declared the sovereign government of Iran which he's waged a war of intimidation and propaganda against since 9-11, a "threat to world peace."
No matter to Bush that the very Iraqi regime he helped install -- and our troops sacrificed their lives and their livelihoods to defend -- has repeatedly declared their neighbor, Iran, to be a friend and ally, even crediting the Iranians for their cooperation in reducing Iraq's violence by controlling the flow of weapons and weapons material across their border. But, to Bush, Iran represents the only nemesis he can use to justify the continuing, aggressive presence of U.S. troops in the region -- apart from highlighting the original 9-11 terror suspects in Afghanistan/Pakistan which he refuses to apply the bulk of our military resources to capture.
"I want to remind people," Bush said Wednesday in Jerusalem at a press availability with Palestinian Authority President Abbas, "I said then that Iran was a threat, Iran is a threat, and Iran will be a threat," he declared, in reference to a 'nuclear weapons program' that he insists Iran is developing, but, has yet to produce a modicum of proof to counter Iran's denials.
Americans don't need any reminding, at all, about Bush's trumped-up insistence before he invaded Iraq, that the sovereign nation he ultimately overthrew and occupied, "was a threat, is a threat, and will be a threat." We've all been witness to the shifting justifications the administration has used to explain away the lack of any threat to America's national security from Iraq which could remotely be considered credible. Not until his heavy-handed military occupation had fostered and fueled a brand new generation of combatants pledged to resistant violence against the U.S., our interests, and our allies -- who identified and aligned themselves with the fugitive 9-11 suspects -- did Iraq, or the Saddam regime tolerate such chaos and sectarian unrest.
Bush deliberately invited and attracted terror to Iraq with his calls for any and all comers to "bring it on" and "fight us there," far from where the original suspects were allowed safe haven from the bulk of our military forces he diverted to capture his imperialistic prize. In an amazingly revealing moment, during a tour of Israel's Holocaust memorial Friday, Bush, with tears welling up in his eyes, Bush was reported to express his wish that Auschwitz concentration camp was attacked by the allies.
"We should have bombed it," Bush reportedly told the memorial chairman, Avner Shalev, apparently unaware that it was the railroad tracks which should have been targeted, and not a camp full of prisoners, however horrendous the activities in that camp were at the time. Targets around the camp were eventually bombed -- one errant bomb accidentally finding its way into the camp and killing dozens. But, Bush obviously knows better now than Churchill did at the time.
It doesn't pass notice that a World Health Organization study, released this week, estimates that between 104,000 and 223,000 civilians in Iraq died from violence between March 2003 and June 2006. The very act of 'liberating' Iraqis from his manufactured 'threat' to the U.S., the region, and the Iraqis themselves, produced enough violence and death of innocents to seriously undermine any administration claim of 'victory' or 'success' in their nation-building fiasco. Yet this administration still insists to America and the world, that their efforts and posture have been a catalyst for some sort of emancipation from terror, when, the only thing we've been liberated from is the relative goodwill around the world that we enjoyed for decades preceding Bush's assent to office.
As our lame-duck militarist returns home and goes back to work -- deepening our military commitments in the Mideast and ensuring that Iraq always has cause for our troops to stay, for a decade or more -- he'll undoubtedly try and ramp-up the rhetorical attack he's already advantaged himself of after he directed his administration to exploit fears surrounding the hyped 'confrontation' of one of our warships he sent to intimidate the Iranians and some speedboats which didn't warrant even a targeting from the commander of the U.S. vessel.; much less an order to fire on them. Bush, insisted, though, on labeling the confrontation (which took almost 3 days to filter to the top of their agenda and not-so-coincidently dovetailing with his rhetorical assault on Iran) a "provocation."
"According to Abbas, Bush had said, 'God told me to strike at al Qaida and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East. If you help me I will act, and if not, the elections will come and I will have to focus on them.''
"I'm on a timetable," Bush told reporters Friday. "I've got 12 months."