The man has absolutely no guts. After his lame performance at the last press conference, and notwithstanding the equally lame performance by the White House press corps on that evening, Bush instead chose to seek the safety of blind loyalty among Green Berets and Army Rangers at Fort Bragg, rather than making an honest, believable case for the why spilling American blood in Iraq is still “worth it.”
Oh yeah, Bush kept reminding us that 9-11 happened in 2001. What a bonehead. Like we should respect him more because he can repeatedly recall a date.
With a backdrop of faux flags draped vertically, suggesting downcast reflection, rather than waving free, suggesting strength and pride, the event more gave the impression of a pathetic George W. sympathy rally than a proud call to stand firm for truly shared values in the face of enormous sacrifices.
No, this president still refuses to level with the American people. He can’t win the Iraq war, let alone a global war against terrorism, with only half the country, while his chief lieutenants in the White House insult everyone who doesn’t have the presidential seal tatooed on their asses.
In typical form, Bush stood at the podium, reading his lines with about as much conviction as a first grader practicing out loud, all the while failing to whipe that sarcastic little fratboy smirk off of his smug little face.
Here’s what I wanted to hear:
America. I’m sorry I can’t really know what it’s like to serve in Iraq, because I shirked my responsibility when I signed up. I regret that I did that. I know that because of that cowardess, it is difficult for Americans to take me seriously. I really don’t deserve the respect of the soldiers in this room, or those so bravely serving in Iraq. I regret that I wasn’t sincere with the American public when I “fixed the facts” to a policy to invade Iraq that I conceived before I even ran for president, creating a war that wasn’t necessary, and diverting resources from the real struggle for peace and justice around the world. I’m sorry I’ve been such an ass to the poor and middle class of this country, who struggle to pay the rent and put food on the table every single day of their lives, in a way that my privileged background has made it difficult for me to fully understand. I’m sorry I’ve sold off America’s destiny to the highest bidders. After all I’ve done that shames me in your eyes, I still need your help. Together, let’s start anew. Together, let’s defeat the hatred that inspired the 9-11 attacks. I’m sorry to say that the struggle will continue to be borne in lives and treasure, but it will also require a more compassionate and gracious diplomatic approach to people around the world. I promise I will not forsake you in this time of difficulty. I promise that I will bear my share of the burden, as will those among my class who owe so much to the charity, benevolence, and sacrifice of all those whom we proudly share a common heritage. This is my pledge before God.
The real message was, “I’m scared shitless. I have no plan. I don’t have a clue what I’m doing.”
The best analysis: Terry Moran noted that the only applause in the speech was initiated by a member the White House advance team.