14 April 2004

nyt article on last night's bush press conference, and a full transcript.

does it sound better on TV? or is this man with his horrible, hackneyed cliches and his awful grammar and his terrible unconcern *actually* the president that people see and, somehow, support?

the very first remarks set the tone:

"This has been tough weeks in that country. Coalition forces have encountered serious violence in some areas of Iraq. Our military commanders report that this violence is being instigated by three groups. Some remnants of Saddam Hussein's regime along with Islamic militants have attacked coalition forces in the city of Falluja. Terrorists from other countries have infiltrated Iraq to incite and organize attacks. "

1. yes, they has been tough weeks, hasn't they? good job, mr. preznit, for making that valuable observation.

2. i think what he means by "remnant of saddam hussein's regime" is "angry, frightened sunni muslims." also: "terrorists from other countries have infiltrated..." funny, i don't remember reading anything about that from any reputable sources. as usual, bush sees what he wants to see. perhaps he hasn't been reading any newspapers? because i've been reading them, and nearly unanimously, in the past weeks, they have reported that sunni and shia forces from within iraq are cooperating against americans, and that they have the support of growing segments of the population. he's looking at a disaster of his own making and seeing a minor hitch imposed by outside evildoers.

bush also talked big about the june 30 transfer of sovereignty. but, as is often the case, he talked big out all nine thousand sides of his mouth. this is what i gleaned: we will send more troops if we need to in order to crush the uprisings. but then we will definitely hand over power on june 30, ready or not, no matter what, and allow the iraqis to self-govern. but we will maintain a strong military presence in any case. but most of our troops are coming home. but we will not allow anti-american uprisings, because anti-american uprisings are also anti-democratic (aka "the freedom hater meme"). but, but, but.

bush has yet to develop any coherent plan for a successful transfer of power, as far as i can tell. i think the problem is that we went in with such poor planning, and such duplicitous motives, that there's no middle ground for this transfer of power. it's either abandonment to chaos or jackbooted imperialism.

as krugman has said: mission accomplished!