Thursday, January 11, 2007

Signs and whispers 

One thing to remember with the Bush administration is that things are always worse than they first appear.
It feels paranoid to read between the lines of every Bush speech, trying to parse deeper meanings out of words and syllables and sentence fragments. But just because you're paranoid doesn't mean someone isn't really out to get you.
Like Digby, I sorta dozed off during Bush's speech tonight. But reading the tea leaves, there are a few indications of what the future may hold.
Here's one: Bush blamed "too many restrictions on the troops" for the US lack of success in Baghdad so far -- funny, I never heard American troops being criticized before for their restraint. But this is Operation Big Swinging Dick, and everyone's Inner Cheney now gets to kick ass. Expect more air strikes killing more civilians, more cluster bombs, more door-kicking, more shoot-first-never-ask-questions-at-all.
And here's another one: Iraqi forces will be "going door to door to gain the trust of Baghdad residents". Now these Iraqi forces are going to be Kurdish troops, so we'll have Kurds kicking in the doors of both Sunnis and Shiites. That oughta calm things down, yes siree.
And then there is this one: what's with that part of the speech about providing Patriot Missile defense systems to "our friends and allies" -- like maybe Israel? Saudi Arabia? Who is going to be firing those Patriot missiles toward the friends & allies anyway? Is this why Saudi Arabia summoned Cheney in December, to demand protection during war with Iran?
And Bush apparently still thinks America is losing the war because of those gosh-darn 'outside agitators' from Syria and Iran. I don't know quite what to make of this -- do Bush and Cheney really think they can convince America that their problems in Iraq are the fault of Syria and Iran? Do they think they can gin up another war based on "darkened" intelligence and the American people will go along with it again?
Well, maybe.
But here are the whispers. Maybe this time America won't drink the Koolaid. For the very first time ever tonight, after Bush's speech, I heard David Gregory of MSNBC report on the anti-war protestors at the White House. They've been there for years, but the press just never mentioned them before. And after five years of refusing to mention any Bush administration lies, the Associated Press actually has a story posted tonight titled Bush rhetoric hard to square with facts.
Matthew Yglesias writes:
... to sum up, neither the American military nor the American congress nor the American people nor the Iraqi government nor the Iraqi public wants an American military escalation. Naturally, we're getting one.
I wonder if America now shares his skepticism?
UPDATE: Dave at Galloping Beaver finds some more stuff which the Bush administration hoped would stay hidden a little longer.

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