Tuesday, June 05, 2007

They found us. Can we go home now?

Does anybody remember one of the most oft-repeated mantras of the Bush administration regarding why we needed to stay in Iraq? It was simple enough for Bush to memorize it, and rhythmic enough for the average American to keep it in his head when Fox News went to their commercial break.

"We're fighting them over there, so we don't have to fight them over here."

He’d rephrase it every so often, like "we're taking the fight to the terrorists abroad, so we don't have to face them here at home." And apparently, a lot of people were quoting his talking points back at him, too: "General John Vines put it well the other day. He said: 'We either deal with terrorism and this extremism abroad, or we deal with it when it comes to us'."

He loved that bumper sticker. Or at least, he used to. Somehow, I don't think we'll be hearing that particular quote too often anymore.

You see, a suspected Muslim terrorist cell was just caught in a plot to blow up the JFK International Airport in New York. A big one. A huge plot. A plot that would have created untold death and destruction.
"The devastation that would be caused had this plot succeeded is just unthinkable," U.S. Attorney Roslynn R. Mauskopf said at a news conference, calling it "one of the most chilling plots imaginable."
Go ask them on Fox News, and I'm sure that they'll tell you what a terrible, evil plan this was: "a plot to create a deadly jet-fuel firestorm reaching from New York to New Jersey."

And it was only stopped by one thing. The dogged determination and unstoppable fortitude of George W. Bush, and his continued insistence on shredding the Constitution.

Well, you know, Bush's policies and the laws of physics.
Federal authorities said that four men were hoping to blow up Kennedy International Airport and a large swath of Queens by detonating a fuel pipeline and storage tanks, but oil industry executives and local officials said yesterday that such a plot was probably not feasible.

While it is true that the tanks at Kennedy Airport are connected to a network of underground pipes that run from New Jersey through Staten Island, Brooklyn and Queens, an exploding tank should not ignite the pipeline, they said. The pipes, which carry jet fuel, gasoline and heating oil, have valves that can be operated from headquarters in Pennsylvania to cut off the flow if sensors indicate that there might be a leak or rupture, said Roy Haase, an official of Buckeye Partners, the company that operates the pipeline.
Having worked most of my life on flightlines, I could have told them that. Fuel pipes have a series of valves and interlocks to prevent an explosion at one point from destroying the whole network. It's pretty simple. You don’t want to lose everything because one smoker can't figure out where to flick his cigarette butt.

Not, of course, that this is the only group of Muslim terrorists who have been captured "on American soil." It was only a month ago that six Keystone-Kop terrorists got caught trying to attack Fort Dix, NJ, wasn't it? A group that was caught, remember, because they took their training film to a local Circuit City to get copied onto a DVD.

Yup, that’s some good tactical planning, right there.

But apparently, despite the fact that the terrorists are apparently able to find America on a map and get here despite all the roadblocks in Fallujah, our President doesn't want to accept that his foreign policy in regards to Iraq could use a little work. In fact, it seems like every time our military does what the President says we need to do in order to go home, he moves the finish line farther back.

Attack Iraq? Yup, did that. Capture Saddam? Did that, too. "Free and democratic Iraq"? Hey, they had elections – doesn’t that count? Every time we have one of those "Mission Accomplished" moments, they come up with some new mission that we're supposed to accomplish.

And now, despite the fact that we're fighting them over there, it seems that we have to fight them over here, too. That doesn’t seem right, does it? If having our troops in Iraq doesn't stop the terrorists from coming to America, shouldn't we bring them back home to protect us here?

But something simple like logic isn't going to help our Republican friends see the light. For some reason, if you throw the words "Iraq" or "terrorism" into the mix, they lose their little minds.

For example, there's Dennis Milligan, the chairman of the Arkansas Republican Party, who apparently likes the idea of Americans getting killed.
At the end of the day, I believe fully the president is doing the right thing, and I think all we need is some attacks on American soil like we had on [Sept. 11, 2001], and the naysayers will come around very quickly
Why does Mr. Milligan hate the American people so much that he wants to see them dead?

Or then there's Dick Morris, another right-wing pundit, who has an even better argument for why we can't "cut and run."
I think that withdrawal from Iraq -- it obviously gives al Qaeda a huge victory. Huge victory. On the other hand, if we stay in Iraq, it gives them the opportunity to kill more Americans, which they really like.

One of the things, though, that I think the antiwar crowd has not considered is that, if we're putting the Americans right within their arms' reach, they don't have to come to Wall Street to kill Americans. They don’t have to knock down the Trade Center. They can do it around the corner, and convenience is a big factor when you're a terrorist.
I love that logic. "That's why we need to keep the military in Iraq! So that the terrorists can kill our troops!"

But maybe that’s the problem right there. There aren't enough American troops in Iraq for the terrorists to kill, and they're fighting back, too! Our Army needs to die faster!!

That's it! It isn't Bush's fault! The terrorists are winning because the military isn't doing a good enough job! They don't make good targets! That must be why the Bush Administration doesn't think that the military deserves a pay raise. The White House is taking all this flak, and it's really the military who sucks!

So, somebody tell me. Why does George Bush hate the military? Do they make him feel like less of a man? After all, there have only been a few Presidents who didn't have documented time in the military: Bill Clinton (who Bush's dad apparently likes better than him), Warren G. Harding, Grover Cleveland - there was a stretch in the first half of the 20th Century where no President had served in the military, but 31 out of 42 Presidents have done time in the military. Even the "increasingly irrelevant" Jimmy Carter did seven years as an officer in the Navy.

And unlike Bush, Carter can document his time. There isn't much to prove Bush's time in the National Guard except for a dog-eared list with his name on it.

So maybe that's the problem. Maybe Bush is experiencing some sort of Freudian disconnect, and that's why he doesn't mind when a few soldiers get killed. Maybe that could explain his behavior lately.

Let's get this man some therapy. And get our troops out of Iraq.

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