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Friday, May 26, 2006

Sorry about that, chief! 

The Galloping Beaver provides a post about the Bush-Blair press conference yesterday titled "Bush apology-NOT".
Very true -- it was one of those "I'm sorry you were offended...." pseudo-apologies -- in other words, the problem wasn't what I said but rather how poorly you all took it, its really the world's fault, not mine, they just don't understand straight Texas talk, blah, blah.
At times, watching the press conference, I wondered what war they were talking about -- the real one, killing thousands of innocent civilians and sending thousands more to refugee camps to escape sectarian violence, while shell-shocked soldiers flood into Baghdad ER. Or the mythical war of liberation which both Bush and Blair seem to think is going on, where metaphoric roses are being tossed at clean-limbed, resolute Tommys and Yanks as they stride manfully toward a magical hall of governance, carrying on their shoulders a purple-fingered batch of grateful Iraqi government ministers. . .
And most unreal was Bush's comment about how a reporter had "dissed" both him and Blair, apparently by asking questions in an insufficiently-deferential tone of voice.
Dave writes:
It was supposed to be a public act of penitence from two leaders who have grown wise with age and experience . . . What it was, in fact, was two long spent politicians trying to maintain an air of authority neither one can claim to possess beyond the official job description of their respective appointments. It was an attempt to provide a public mea culpa while veiling the fact that these two megalomaniacs are personally responsible for one of the worst imperial expeditionary clusterfucks since the 1838 British adventure in Afghanistan and the US war in Vietnam . . .
What Blair didn't say is that both he and Bush rejected any suggestion that the vision they had created for themselves was not realistic. They dismissed anyone who did not accede to their predetermined version of events. In the recesses of their brains, their egos led the decision-making process. Any advice that suggested an invasion of Iraq would be followed with a continuing storm of bombs and bullets was replaced by their own mystical image of Iraqis tossing flowers and candy.
These two so-called world leaders having reached the nadir of their political influence are reaching out with inane apologies for inane acts. There is no substance to it. They are still trying to hide from the truth and hide the truth.
Inasmuch as both of these individuals suggest that history will judge them, Bush will easily be remembered as one of the most incompetent leaders of his time, on the scale of Phokas. Blair will melt into obscurity; yet another British leader who, in an attempt to regain the prestige of empire, failed. . . . There was no act of contrition. It was disingenuous theater worth less than the value of the paper from which the scripted words were read.

UPDATE: Crooks and Liars raises doubt about both the spontaneity and sincerity of the big apology scene. Right after the "me so sorry" moment at the press conference, Bush gave a big grin and wink to the reporters in the front row -- or maybe he was just smiling through his tears.

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