Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Pres. Bush talking to ABC's Martha Raddatz

President Bush, talking to ABC's Martha Raddatz, talks about the lies leading up to the Iraq invasion and the messy misadventure of the occupation:

BUSH: One of the major theaters against al Qaeda turns out to have been Iraq. This is where al Qaeda said they were going to take their stand. This is where al Qaeda was hoping to take–

RADDATZ: But not until after the U.S. invaded.

BUSH: Yeah, that’s right. So what? The point is that al Qaeda said they’re going to take a stand. Well, first of all in the post-9/11 environment Saddam Hussein posed a threat. And then upon removal, al Qaeda decides to take a stand.

So What?? So What??? So what about the 4,000 lives lost in that war in Iraq and that's just on our side, so to speak. So what about the over 1 million Iraqi lives lost as civilians? So what about the thousands and thousands of injured who can never return to any kind of normal life, who have lost arms, legs, parts of brains, parts of families, parts of lives, parts of their world, parts of themselves that will never be replaced by anything or anyone. SO WHAT??? How can this man sit and say in that smirky attitude of his, SO WHAT??? That to me is just unbelievable. And then he laughs when a man throws a shoe at him. One of the highest insults in the Arabic world. Then says he has no idea why the man would do that. This man has been in an American prison in Iraq, was tortured by Americans and has lost part of his family to American soldiers.

Were they Blackwater mercanaries?? Were they regular military?? We don't know. But Pres. Bush sent them there. And this man holds him responsible. And then he says SO WHAT.

Dubya and his whole administration are determined to spin the whole of the last eight years as "ancient history". Raddatz should have thrown out her script at that point and eaten him alive, but she didn't. Yet another failure of the tame media, who are too afraid of losing their precious access to ask the obvious questions even now. Ian Williams of The Guardian laments the paucity of journalistic backbone on display:

With a few notable exceptions like Helen Thomas, Bush's press conferences have not generated the indignation he so richly deserves from a largely quiescent White House press corps that needs government inspectors and Congressmen to tell it when it can be surprised and even occasionally indignant.

In a parochial way, one can understand why the press corps lacks indignation over Iraq's 100,000,000 civilians dead and injured and over two million external refugees, plus untold more internally displaced.

But it is still surprising that so many reporters can be polite and deferential with someone who has turned the US Federal Reserve into a giant Ponzi scheme and broken the world's strongest economy. They defer humbly to someone who has contrived the deaths of 4,200 US servicemen and women in Iraq. It even failed to follow through on questions about the president's murky military record with the Texas Air National Guard while his peers were dying in Vietnam. This intrepid press
corps showed no compunction in following in minute detail Clinton's screwing
around, but kept silent as Bush screwed entire nations.

Last week, a Senate report pointed the finger directly at Bush and his senior officials for authorising - indeed, ordering - torture and abuse of detainees. But no one threw any shoes.

It is that fawning quiescence that allowed Bush to tell Bob Woodward: "I'm the commander – see, I don't need to explain – I do not need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being the president. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don't feel like I owe anybody an explanation."

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