28 February 2006

Surveying the land from under the sand

"At least 60 people were killed in Baghdad on Tuesday in the latest in a series of deadly attacks following the bombing of a major Shi'ite mosque last week.

Asked what Washington would do if civil war broke out in Iraq, Bush told ABC News: 'I don't buy your premise that there's going to be a civil war.'"

So much for the ebbing sectarian strife.

60+ today.

1,300 since last week.

Scores of mosques attacked, tit for tat. Car bombs, angry mobs, people being--literally--executed by the busload...and El Presidente doesn't "buy the premise" of a civil war. Well, he didn't bother planning for his war, so why start now, right?

It's almost impressive, in a way, to see how wildly he swings between apocalyptic fear-mongering and willful obliviousness, growing further and further detached from reality with every pass. Those who disagree with him are providing aid and comfort for our enemies, but those who recognize the seeds of civil war in Iraq are just alarmists reading tea leaves.

That sort of worldview--such as it is--is testament to the man's colossal ego and sense of personal infallibility. Nothing is a problem unless he deems it as such. You need only look at his approach to contentious issues such as the PATRIOT Act, illegal wiretaps and, now, the UAE port sale and disintegrating situation in Iraq. None of the additional time these topics has received has been about review and mutual compromise, it's about giving him a chance to explain why he's been right all along. When he speaks publicly, every speech he gives drips with condescention: the smirking, monosyllabic, lean-over-the-podium-to-break-it-down-for-the-ignorant-masses style that's become his trademark. Rather than demand better, his so-called "base" obligingly (and stupidly) lives down to his perceptions, mistaking patronizing for "folksy" or "down-to-earth," and flocking to it, accordingly.

They got the president they deserved, all right...and unfortunately, dragged us all along for the ride.

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