During his surprise visit to Iraq last December, young Mister Bush told Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Malaki "Iraq's future is in your hands."
Today, Edward Wong of the New York Times tells us that "Senior Iraqi and American officials are beginning to question whether Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki has the political muscle and decisiveness to hold Iraq together as it hovers on the edge of a full civil war."
They're just now beginning to question that?
Malaki came on tough in his early days in office, promising to crack down on insurgents while also offering a unification deal with them, part of which offered amnesty to insurgents whose only offense was to oppose U.S. occupation forces. That's worked out great. Baghdad is more of a zoo than ever before and the situation in Anbar province, now under control of al Qaeda, is irretrievable.
And what is the U.S. military doing to help shore up Malaki's government? According to Wong, "American generals are spending money on quick reconstruction projects like trash pickup as the military goes through troubled neighborhoods of Baghdad."
Picking up trash in Baghdad. Funny, I don't recall reading that anywhere in last November's National Strategy for Victory in Iraq. You have to wonder how thing would have gone if they started picking up the trash three years ago.
I like how Wong describes Iraq as hovering on the edge of a "full civil war." How should we describe the civil war Iraq is in now--half full or half empty?
Mary Matalin, Cheney pal and former member of the White House Iraq Group, was on Imus this morning, doing her Bush cheerleader thing. She admonished Imus not to accuse her, as he does so often, of "drinking the Kool Aid." I've got news for Imus and everybody else. Matalin's not drinking the Kool Aid. She's just pouring it.
Speaking of Kool Aid pitchers:
Armstrong Williams, the commentator who took $241,000 from the Department of Education to promote Bush's No Child Left Behind program on the air graced the MSNBC studios this morning and delivered a diatribe against Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Williams compared the present Iran situation with the Cuban Missile Crisis. I don't know if Williams was alive then, but I was. The Soviets had actual nuclear missiles actually positioned in Cuba and they were actually pointed at the United States. That was a crisis. The situation with Iran is not.
A far more critical situation facing us today is that known government propagandists like Mary Matalin and Armstrong Williams appear on national television and get paid for it.
Even more critical is that some Americans not only still drink the Kool Aid, they still like how it tastes.
BarbinMD writes a scathing deconstruction of the speech Mister Bush gave at the UN yesterday. I won't revisit territory Barb has already covered, but this excerpt from Bush's speech caught my eye.
Extremists in your midst spread propaganda claiming that the West is engaged in a war against Islam. This propaganda is false…
Mister Bush accusing anybody else of conducting propaganda would be ironic if irony weren't so dead. If irony were with us today, it might say, "Hm, the U.S. and is at war in Afghanistan, which is and Islamic country. And it's at war in Iraq, which is an Islamic country. And it backed Israel in a war in Lebanon, which is an Islamic country. And it's making boo noise about going to war with Iran, which is an Islamic country.
"So which part of 'engaged in a war against Islam' is 'false,' Mister Bush?"
There's a simple reason why the "extremists'" propaganda is so much more effective than Mister Bush's. Their propaganda focuses on things that are obviously true. Mister Bush's propaganda comes from somewhere below his waist, and you can smell it half a world away.
President Bush really should agree to sit down with President Ahmadinejad. I'm sure they'd get along--they have so much in common. They're both smug, they're both cocky and they both say stupid things in public. In fact, the only difference I can see between the two of them is that, as far as we know, President Ahmadinejad hasn't lied to us yet.
Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes from Virginia Beach, Virginia. Read his commentaries at ePluribus Media and Pen and Sword.